When Huang Yong-Fu learned that the village he had lived in for decades was about to be demolished, the elderly Taiwanese decided to take drastic action to save it.
Huang is the last resident of a community that once housed 1,200 families, mostly veterans of Chinese nationalism who were defeated by Mao Zedong’s communist regime, Colossal says.
By the mid-2000s, real estate developers had bought out many residents’ lots in order to be able to demolish the area, but Huang did not agree. Refusing monetary compensation and new housing, the elderly man ended up alone in the village. Most of the houses had been demolished by that time, and only about a dozen buildings remained.
In order not to go crazy with loneliness and boredom, the former military man began to paint his house, and then the neighboring ones. Walls, roofs, and paths became canvases for colorful Chinese characters and folk motifs.
Juan’s community became known as Rainbow Village and he was Rainbow’s Grandpa. A local university student discovered Juan’s colorful cottages in 2010 and notified the world about Rainbow Village.
The town is now visited by over a million tourists each year, which is why the Taiwanese government opted to retain it intact.