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How a 97-Year-Old Man Literally Saved His Hometown by Covering It in Artwork

Art has the power to transform the world.



97-Year-Old Man Literally Saved His Hometown by Covering It in Artwork

(TMU) — As a child, you might have been told that art has the power to transform the world. Thanks to the efforts of 97-year-old Huang Yung-fu, this has once again been proven true. To protect his beloved hometown from being torn down, the activist covered abandoned houses with colorful murals and doodles. Now, “The Rainbow Village” attracts hoards of visitors every year. 

It all began when the Taiwanese government threatened to demolish Taichung City. Though the village was once a popular tourist destination, the area had become increasingly run-down. GoodNewsNetwork reports that 1,200 families used to live in the city. But as more people moved away for better living conditions, that number dwindled down to just one.

Yung-fu, a retired war veteran, wasn’t ready to give up on his hometown. Equipped with paint, paintbrushes, and patience, he started coloring the city and transforming the Nantun district into “The Rainbow Village.” 

Huang had not created any art since his father taught him to draw at age 3. But, as he covered empty houses with animal doodles, colorful paint, and swirling designs, he fell in love with the process once again.

The veteran continued to decorate the walls of his neighborhood until local university students noticed. They began referring to Huang as “The Rainbow Grandpa” and demanded that the buildings be preserved. Thanks to the students’ support and the increase in tourism, the town will no longer be torn down.

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?? 之前在限時動態說要講 關於這張照片的故事 其實原本是要在矮牆上做側劈 但發現牆厚度實在太薄 大概跟大腿差不多的寬度 極有可能平衡一晃或風太大一吹就掰掰了? 卻意外拍出另一種感覺的照片 – 有時眼看走投無路 其實窄的卻是心 看人間 寬寬的是路 最多的遺憾是缺少包容的心 風來雨去 花開易落 人間走過 不要錯過。 ———————————————————————— #彩虹眷村 #彩虹眷村? #彩虹眷村爺爺 #台中 #台中景點 #台中必去 #taichung #taichungtravels #taichungtrip #taichungtravel #discovertaichung #popdaily #ootd #outfitoftheday #sportyoutfit #sportyoutfits #rainbowvillage #rainbowvibes #rainbowvillage? #rainbowvillagetaichung #?

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Huang continues to cover the village in art. Some days, he wakes up as early as 3 AM so he can spend hours adding detail to the captivating murals. Tourists now travel from all over the world to view his artwork first-hand and learn from his inspiring example.

Watch the video below to learn more:

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By Mandy Froelich | Creative Commons |

Featured image credit: Steven R. Barringer, CC

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