A 97-year-old man dubbed as the “rainbow grandpa” saved his entire village from destruction by painting each building with colorful arts.
Over 10 years ago, the Taiwanese government threatened to demolish an entire village as the only person left in the village was an 86-year-old man, Huang Yung-Fu. A more modern apartment complex was planned to be built on the site.
Huang was offered money to move to another place, however, he did not want to leave his town. So he took the matters unto his own hands in an attempt to protect his entire village. He started painting colorful arts on every building and structure in the village.
Huang was a former soldier from China. After losing the war, Huang and two million others fled to Taiwan to seek shelter.
There, Huang lived in a makeshift village made for the military personnel and their families. What was meant only as a temporary shelter eventually became his forever home.
“When I came here, the village had 1,200 households and we’d all sit and talk like one big family,” Huang shared with BBC. “But then everyone moved away or passed away and I became lonely.”
Now known as the “rainbow grandpa,” he successfully protected his hometown by attracting millions of tourists. Huang started painting a small bird in his bungalow and continued to paint all over the entire village.
A university student happened to pass by the area. Fascinated by the colorful arts, he snapped a photo of the village and posted it online. He then helped start a campaign to save the village from destruction. Entire Taiwan’s heart was captivated by this small village and Huang’s perseverance.
“The government has promised me they will keep this house and this village,” he said. “I was so happy and thankful.”