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Taichung's 'Rainbow Grandpa' dies at 100

Artist behind Rainbow Village honored by Taichung mayor as 'national treasure'

  2022
 Huang Yung-Fu, creator of Rainbow Village. (Facebook, rainbow.village photo)

 Huang Yung-Fu, creator of Rainbow Village. (Facebook, rainbow.village photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Huang Yung-Fu (黃永阜), who famously converted a former military dependent's village into a vibrantly painted art zone known as Rainbow Village passed away of natural causes on Tuesday (Jan. 23) at the age of 100.

The Facebook page for the artist affectionately known as "Rainbow Grandpa" announced that he had died and that "Rainbow Village lost its rainbow." Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) on Tuesday night uploaded a post to Facebook saying, "Taichung has lost a national treasure," expressed her condolences to his family, and vowed that Taichung will exert its utmost efforts to preserve his artworks.

Taichung's 'Rainbow Grandpa' dies at 100
Huang paints one of his works. (Facebook, rainbow.village photo)

On Jan. 14 last year, Lu joined Huang in celebrating his 99th birthday at Chun'an Elementary School in Taichung's Nantun District. Huang celebrated his 100th birthday earlier this month but after eating lunch on Tuesday, he suddenly lost vital signs and was declared dead after being sent to a nearby hospital, reported CNA.

Huang was born in Taishan, Guangdong, China, in 1924. He participated in the Battle of Guningtou and the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in his early years and came to Taiwan with Kuomingtang forces in 1949. In 2007, upon learning about the imminent demolition of nearby military dependents' villages and surrounding houses due to urban redevelopment, he began painting his residence and the adjacent walls with colorful artwork.

Taichung's 'Rainbow Grandpa' dies at 100
(Facebook, rainbow.village photo)

Rainbow Village has also been selected as the most worth-visiting attraction in the world's "Secret Marvels of the World" by Lonely Planet, attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists every year. Huang was also named an honorary citizen of Taichung.

However, in recent years, Rainbow Village has been subject to civil and criminal lawsuits due to disputes over management rights and copyrights, which still need to be resolved.

Taichung's 'Rainbow Grandpa' dies at 100
(Facebook, rainbow.village photo)

The Taichung City Government's Cultural Affair Bureau was cited by the news agency saying Huang has left many precious artworks in Rainbow Village. It said it would set up a commemorative area in Rainbow Village at the end of the month to enable visitors to pay tribute to the "beautiful memories left by Grandpa."

The bureau pledged to provide full assistance to the family in organizing funeral arrangements.

Taichung's 'Rainbow Grandpa' dies at 100
(Facebook, rainbow.village photo)

Taichung's 'Rainbow Grandpa' dies at 100
Huang with Lu. (Facebook, rainbow.village)