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Colorful Taichung village creator 'Rainbow Grandpa' dies at 101

01/23/2024 10:22 PM
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The art of Rainbow Village's late creator Huang Yung-Fu is painted all around the premise of the small village. Photo courtesy of Taichung City Government
The art of Rainbow Village's late creator Huang Yung-Fu is painted all around the premise of the small village. Photo courtesy of Taichung City Government

Taichung, Jan. 23 (CNA) Huang Yung-Fu (黃永阜), known as "Rainbow Grandpa" for turning a former military dependents' village in Taichung into a colorful art zone, died of natural causes at the age of 101 on Tuesday.

Huang, who suffered from chronic diseases such as diabetes, experienced respiratory and cardiac arrest shortly after lunch, local police said.

Despite receiving approximately eight minutes of on-site resuscitation from family members who were given instructions over the phone by paramedics, Huang could not be revived and was confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital, police said.

"Taichung mourns the loss of a national treasure and artist," Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) wrote in a Facebook post, adding that the central Taiwan city will work toward better conserving Huang's art work.

Rainbow Village's late creator Huang Yung-Fu shares a photo with Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen in this undated photo. Photo courtesy of Taichung City Government
Rainbow Village's late creator Huang Yung-Fu shares a photo with Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen in this undated photo. Photo courtesy of Taichung City Government

A commemorative area dedicated to Huang, a former solider born in Taishan City, Guangdong Province, China, will be established in Rainbow Village by the end of January, according to the city's Cultural Affairs Bureau.

Having fought against the People's Republic of China (PRC) for the Republic of China (ROC) in the Battle of Guningtou in 1949 and the Aug. 23 Artillery Battle in 1958, Huang started painting in 2008 on the buildings and streets of the village located in the city's Nantun District, which was originally slated for demolition.

His lively and imaginative artistic style, characterized by bold and vibrant colors, not only brought Rainbow Village into the spotlight but also secured its recognition in international media such as Lonely Planet and BBC Travel.

Although Huang was made an honorary citizen of Taichung in 2018, after Rainbow Creative Co. took over operations of the village it became embroiled in disputes with the city government over operational rights and the copyright to some of the murals created by the artist.

Lawsuits related to these matters are ongoing.

(By Hau Hsueh-ching and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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