Images of the Formosan black bear and various cartoons including “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Rubber Duck” and “Doraemon” all feature in the murals. Attracting large groups of visitors from far and wide who eagerly scramble to take snapshots beside the cute cartoon icons, the little village of Hujian in Tainan’s Shanhua District has been incredibly busy recently after being transformed with an ocean of vivid colors.
The original idea for the colored murals came from three local sisters who were worried about their grandmother getting lonely at home. They picked up some paintbrushes and began painting a range of cute colored images on the previously monotonous brick walls. This stirred the rest of the village into action and triggered a complete makeover of the village, the residents of which are almost all elderly people. The three sisters used their vacation time to do the painting, beginning each time they returned to their grandmother’s in Shanhua – as the murals gradually increased the girls slowly began painting neighbors’ walls too.
Relying on local residents to do the painting, in recent years communities decorated with colored murals have been on the increase. This activity not only lifts community spirit and increases the camaraderie between individual members in the community, but also strengthens the identity of the area.
Murals for grandmother