A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

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A little more than ten years ago, a then-86-year-old Huang Yung-fu faced a big dilemma.

A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

A little more than ten years ago, a then-86-year-old Huang Yung-fu faced a big dilemma. The Taiwanese government threatened to knock down his village, in attempts to build a more modern apartment complex, as he was the last remaining resident, as he was the previous remaining resident. They offered him money to pack up his home and move elsewhere, but could not bear the idea of leaving the only home he’d ever known in Taiwan. That’s when he began painting.


Huang, now known as “Rainbow Grandpa,” was born in China. After he fought in the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, he also fought for the Nationalist Party over Mao Zedong’s Communist government. When the Nationalists lost, he and two million others fled to Taiwan. It was here where he was housed in a makeshift village put together hastily for incoming members of the military and their families. What was meant just to be a temporary solution eventually became home.


So, it came as a shock when, forty years later, it looked like his home was going to be obliterated. “When I came here, the village had 1,200 households and we’d all sit and talk like one big family,” said Huang. “But then everyone moved away or passed away and I became lonely.” With nowhere to go, he turned to art to ease his suffering.


He first painted a small bird on his bungalow. He continued with cats, birds, and people that began flowing across the vacant buildings in the village. In 2010, a local university student stumbled upon the village and after he heard Huang’s story, vowed to help. He snapped some photographs of the village and began a fundraising campaign and petition in order to save it from destruction.


The news quickly went viral and “Rainbow Grandpa” was born. The picturesque village became a huge draw for tourists, and it still brings over a million visitors every year. And best of all, Huang got to keep his home.


A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

asiastock/Shutterstock


A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

Phuong D. Nguyen/Shutterstock


A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

pedphoto36pm/Shutterstock


A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

asiastock/Shutterstock


A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock


A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art

Phuong D. Nguyen/Shutterstock

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Thinking Humanity: A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art
A 97-Year-Old Man Saved His Village By Painting Buildings With Colorful Art
A little more than ten years ago, a then-86-year-old Huang Yung-fu faced a big dilemma.
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