Are you using age as an excuse for your lack of creativity? Think you are too old to change the world you live in? Huang Yung-fu, a 91-year-old veteran from Taichung City, Taiwan, first picked up a paintbrush just few years ago and created the Rainbow Village of Taichung.
What started as a hobby became something with more of a purpose. Local families were protesting the scheduled demolition of an abandoned 1940s military encampment just on the outskirts of Taichung. Huang Yung-fu, who is now known as ‘Grandpa Rainbow’ is a veteran with no previous professional trainings. He just picked up a paintbrush about 4 years ago and the whole neighborhood is his huge and borderless canvas to paint. Yes, the whole neighborhood, literally. Almost everything in this village is painted with joyful colors and interesting figures or patterns.
The streets and the walls of practically every building in the village are covered with Huang’s simplistic paintings of plants, animals, TV personalities, birds and buffaloes. Considering the fact that he began painting only 4 years ago, his accomplishment is pretty huge. The bright colors and simple strokes used by Huang only add to the attractiveness of his work.
Born in Hong Kong, Huang is quite a healthy man for his age. He doesn’t drink alcohol, smoke, or gamble. He started painting just to kill time, but it has now become a passion for him. A self-taught artist, he started off painting for himself, but was soon discovered by students of a nearby university.
Students began taking photographs and posting them online. The photographs have now gone viral, the demolition is off the books, and Rainbow Village is listed as one of the must-see spots in Taichung City. I guess age is just a number.
Bright lively colors call out to your inner child as you find what appears to be an endless seam of creative whimsical imagery.
There is something comforting about the colors and images. They cover the drab world of wall, door, mailbox, and corner, making the average extraordinary.
Maybe exhausted by all the visitors, the cat relaxes and enjoy a shaded, cool area. Dreaming in color, perhaps?
Blue appears to be the background color that is used the most in the village.
Adding a third dimension and an even more playful quality to the village are toys found decorating the more secluded areas.
High romance among the bright paintings. The village is a backdrop for commercial film and photography.
In a world of drab and boring mailboxes, along come Rainbow Family Village hand-painted limited editions: mailboxes that are pleasing to the eye and probably also the mailman.
Rainbow Family Village exit
This angle is one of my favorites because you can get an idea of how far the painting goes. Even a pile of bricks is fair game.
Photos by Steven R. Barringer.
Steven R. Barringer about Rainbow Family Village: “A beautiful and colorful small village in Taichung, Taiwan where almost everything in site is painted joyful colors. A sense of wonder and peacefulness is felt as you wander the tiny streets of this modest section of the big city. Bright lively colors call out to your inner child as you find what appears to be an endless seam of creative whimsical imagery. A must-see for any one in Taichung.”