21 09 2016

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The ‘Rainbow Village’ is one of Taichung’s few high-profile “sights” and probably the best known example of outsider art in Taiwan. The colourful, naive paintings are the work of one man, now 94, who drew them over the decades on the outer walls of a fairly grim public housing block for former Kuomintang war veterans. Once threatened with demolition, the block (not really a “village”) was saved by a public outcry and has now become an out-and-out tourist scrum, a jarring experience in otherwise-laidback Taichung. When I was there the site was so crowded with holiday makers armed with selfie sticks that I gave up trying to take a “clean shot” and just started taking pictures of the other tourists. “Papa Rainbow” was there too, manning the souvenir stall and looking mighty proud- as he should – of the colourful chaos he has created.

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