Taichung Rainbow Village

March 2, 2016 2016年3月2日

After the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the KMT retreated to Taiwan. At that time, they began constructing housing for the soldiers of the ROC Armed Forces as well as their family members. These communities, known as military dependent villages, were built with limited funds and residents had no ownership rights since the property was on government-owned land. These villages were widespread all throughout Taiwan, but over the years, have deteriorated into slum-like conditions.


1949年中國國共內戰結束後,國民黨由大陸撤退至台灣。為了給一同撤退的部隊軍人及其眷屬安排住房,政府開始建造眷村。這些叫做眷村的社區,是限資建立在政府所有的土地上,不擁有個人產權。眷村迅速在台灣本土四處散播開,但隨著時間的推移,這些村落也漸漸淪為了貧民窟的代名詞。

In Taichung, there’s a place known as Rainbow Village. The now wildly popular tourist attraction was once a military dependent village, decrepit and run-down. Huang Yongfu, a resident since the early days of this village, is the man behind this transformation. He has single-handedly painted the walls, doors, and even roads throughout the area with a dizzying array of vibrant colors, which has garnered him the fitting nickname of Rainbow Grandpa.


在台中,有一個被譽為彩虹眷村的地方。這個現今遠近馳名的旅遊勝地便是一個曾經衰敗的眷村。作為眷村里早期居民之一的黃永阜,即是見證此地盛衰之人,亦是將此地重整旗鼓之人。他憑藉一己之力,將鮮豔炫目的色彩,搬上這裡的一幕幕牆、一扇扇門,甚至一條條街。於是,他“彩虹爺爺”的美譽便由此而來。

In this modern era of skyscrapers and high rises, many military dependent villages, including this one, are viewed as nothing more than nuisances, with the potential to be turned into lucrative property. Similar to the fate of so many other military housing complexes from this era, this one was also poised for demolition. But through his artwork, Rainbow Grandpa has managed to preserve not only his beloved village, but also his nostalgic memories and a piece of early Taiwanese culture. The scheduled demolition was delayed, and was eventually called off, as thousands of signed petitions flooded into the mayor’s office. In 2014, the village officially became the “Rainbow Village Art Park” which includes Huang Yongfu’s residence as well as six other households.


在這個崇尚摩天大廈的摩登時代,包括彩虹眷村在內的許多眷村,討人嫌惡,成了地產開發商眼裡的搖錢樹。跟當今許多眷村的悲慘命運一樣,彩虹眷村也曾出現在舊屋拆遷的黑名單上。但因為彩虹爺爺用藝術對眷村的重新演繹,他得以保留的不僅有最心愛的故里,也有他的舊時記憶和一絲台灣古早文化。隨著成千上萬的民眾請願書湧入市長辦公室,原定的拆遷計劃被予以推遲,並最終取消,彩虹村倖免於難。 2014年,包含黃永阜住所和其他六間房屋的“彩虹眷村藝術公園”正式公示​​於眾,洗盡鉛華,迎來了遇經劫難後真正的“彩虹”。

As an ex-soldier with no formal art training, Huang Yongfu reveals his only sources of inspirations are extracted from his everyday life, as well as newspapers that he reads on a daily basis. Using pension money, he started purchasing art supplies and began the daunting task of painting the village back in 2008. His colorful work involves imaginary characters, friendly animals, and a myriad of abstract designs. He has also inscribed numerous uplifting messages intended for visitors such as Ping An Bai Fu, meaning peace and best of luck.


作為一名沒受過任何專業藝術訓練的退役軍人來說,黃永阜的創作靈感均來源於其日常生活和從報紙上閱讀而來的信息。從2008年開始,他便用自己的養老金購買藝術材料,開始進行創作。他多彩的作品畫面裡有著天馬行空的角色,有友好可愛的動物,有抽象設計的美人魚等等。他也常常題寫一些吉祥語給參觀者們,例如“平安百福”等。

There is also a controversial, sociopolitical side to this story. Some argue that the artwork is no different from illegal graffiti, and many residents could’ve received a substantial amount of government compensation from the demolition. In addition to that, they would also be relocated into modern and better-equipped housing. In 2011, a neighbor, highly disgruntled by the number of loud tourists and the amount of trash that they would leave behind, voiced his discontent by spray painting Lao Bu Xiu in black over some of the artwork. This scathing message was intended for Mr. Huang, telling him behave more appropriately for his age.


這個故事也有爭議性、社政性的一面。有些人認為,這些作品與非法塗鴉無異,並且那些當地村民原本可以從中獲取數目可觀的拆遷費。同時,眷村村民也可以搬遷到更好的現代公寓。 2011年,彩虹眷村一村民,不堪忍受吵雜的遊客以及他們身後留下的垃圾,而在部分作品上噴上“老不修”三字以示不滿。這些尖銳字眼直指黃永阜先生,意在告誡他應為老而尊。

Regardless, this cultural and near-psychedelic visual experience continues to draw in countless visitors from around Taiwan as well as around the world every year. But besides tourists, the village also attracts other interesting characters. From a selfie-snapping, guitar-toting, tie-dyed Iron Man that plays renditions of popular Chinese songs to a nomadic barista selling hand drip artisanal coffee, the village seems to have a magnetic pull on creative individuals.


無論如何,這種獨到的文化和近乎迷幻的視覺盛宴每年都在不斷地吸著來自台灣本土以及世界各地的遊客源源湧入。除了遊客,彩虹眷村也吸引了許多有趣的創意人。從愛好自拍的七彩鋼鐵俠背著吉他演唱中文流行歌曲,到四處走動的咖啡館師販售手工滴壺咖啡,眷村似乎具備著吸引各類創意人的魔力。

Huang Yongfu, now 94-years-old, still lives in the same house he’s been living in for the last 38 years. And despite having already preserved the village by securing its place as a cultural landwork, he still continues to tirelessly paint the village day after day. During most afternoons, Rainbow Grandpa can be found around the village, happily conversing with visitors.


現年94歲的黃永阜,依然居住在這個他已經住了38年的房子裡。儘管通過將眷村加強塑造成一個文化性地標使其得以保留,但他還是在十年如一日地繼續創作。若你有機會參觀,或許你會發現彩虹爺爺正在平日暖陽里的午後與到訪者在眷村之中某處愉快攀談。

Address:
No.56, Chun’an Road
Nantun District
Taichung, Taiwan

 

Website1949rainbow.com.tw
Facebook~/1949rainbow

 

Contributor & Photographer: David Yen


地址
台灣 台中市
春安路56巷

 

網站1949rainbow.com.tw
臉書~/1949rainbow

 

供稿人與攝影師: David Yen

Skin & Detail

March 1, 2016 2016年3月1日

Zhang Shujian is a young Chinese painter from Hunan province. His photorealistic paintings pore over the details and imperfections of the human face. The tactile feel of his work is created by applying many thin strokes, and a rather elaborate multilayering process involving paint and varnish. Shujian’s approach distorts and contorts the human form into abstractions. We spoke to him recently about his inspirations and work process.


张书笺是一位来自中国湖南的年轻画家,他那犹如照片般写实的画作,事无巨细地刻画着人类面孔的细节和缺陷。尽管他的表现手法是将人物扭曲抽象化,但,在细笔勾勒以及那一层又一层的颜料和清漆下,他作品所描绘的内容俨然触手可及。近期,我們與他探討了他个人的灵感来源和创意过程。

Neocha: How did you start as an artist? Did you always draw?  How did you develop yourself in pencil, then eventually in painting?

Zhang Shujian: I started feeling like I was becoming an artist after I began working with a gallery. Of course I don’t mean that you have to be represented by a gallery to be an artist; the artwork is the most important part. I have always drawn and never pursued any other mediums – others just didn’t feel as natural. In art school, I studied pencil drawing and oil painting at the same time so there was never a progression from one to the other.


Neocha: 你是如何开始成为一个艺术家的?你一直都画吗?你是如何开始从用铅笔进行创作,后来发展到画油画的?

张书笺: 觉得和画廊合作后自己才是真的慢慢成为一名艺术家的,当然一名艺术家的状态是最主要的,不是说没画廊合作就一定不是艺术家。我是一直都画画,并没有去做其他的艺术形式,感觉不顺手。用铅笔和用油画都是美院的课程,都是同时进行的,并没有说一定有一个从铅笔到油画的时间过程。

Neocha: Do you use references, models, or people from real life? Who are the figures and faces that inspire your work?

Zhang Shujian: I use images that I find online or use my personal photography as references. There are no specific types of faces that inspire me.


Neocha: 你会用参考,模特,或者你身边的真人吗?什么样的脸和面孔会激发你的创作?

张书笺: 会参考啊,网上的图,自己拍的图,都在用。好像没什么特定的脸会激发灵感,什么样的都有。

Neocha: Who or what were your biggest inspirations when you started? What kind of things or ideas influence you?

Zhang Shujian: I am inspired by the behavior of people around me. The way they move and the things they say are my biggest inspirations. Besides that, critiques on social issues that I see online also have an influence over my work.


Neocha: 当你开始的时候,谁或者什么是你最大的灵感来源?什么样的事或思想会影响你?

张书笺: 身边人的状态、言行就是最大的灵感,包括在网上看到的针对社会时事的评论,都会对我有些作用。

Neocha: Your work is so textured and realistic, yet often distorted. What is your work process like? How do you render such delicate skin tones and hair? How long does it take?

Zhang Shujian: When I see an image that I like, I will first start sketching, then begin reworking it. Once I settle on something, I will then transfer it to a larger frame. When I’m working in a large frame, I slowly make my revisions. It’s a very traditional work process. Afterwards, I’ll start to paint the texture of the skin very clumsily, as if I’m weaving. Then I add multiple washes of color, layer after layer. For the hair, I go find the thinnest nylon brush in the art supply store and draw each strand one by one. On average, I finish one painting per month.


Neocha: 你的作品很有纹理也很现实主义,又非常扭曲。通常你的工作流程是如何的?你如何呈现细微的肤质及发丝?这会耗费你多久时间

张书笺: 看到喜欢的图片就开始画草稿,做些改动,定稿就上大画框了,不过在画框上画的时候会慢慢的再做一些改动,很传统的流程。然后非常蠢的一点一点的画皮肤的质感,像编织一样,然后一遍一遍的染,染了再画,来来回回好多遍。头发就找画材店里最细的那种尼龙勾线笔一根一根勾。平均一个月一张吧。

Neocha: What are you currently working on and what are you looking forward to in the future?

Zhang Shujian: Everyday I draw, go online, and read books. I like being a recluse at home. I don’t have any expectations. I am mostly looking forward to continuing to paint without restraint.


Neocha: 你目前在忙什么,对未来有何期待?

张书笺: 就是每天画画,上网,看看书,很宅的。没什么特别的期待,能够没拘束的画下去就是最大的期待了。

Websitezhangshujian.com

 

Contributor: Jia Li


网站: zhangshujian.com

 

供稿人: Jia Li