We headed to Taichung City’s Chun An Military Dependents’ Village [春安眷村] this morning before the heavy rains came. The village has become popular from the paintings by Huang Yung-fu [黃永阜], a veteran in his mid-80s who has transformed this once nondescript village into a vibrant tourist destination for young couples and families.
The whole area is painted brightly with pictures of animals, people, and a few familiar cartoon characters.
Military dependents’ villages [眷村] are communities throughout Taiwan built in the late 1940s through 1950s for the original purpose of housing Nationalist soldiers and their dependents after the KMT retreated to Taiwan. Most of these communities have already been demolished and replaced with high-rise buildings. A few have been preserved as historic sites and there are efforts to preserve others.
If you are interested in visiting I suggest you do it soon. The Ministry of National Defense has commissioned the city government to redevelop the area. UPDATE: Mayor Hu has promised to preserve the Rainbow Village. Here’s a link to its location on Google Maps.
- Military Dependents’ Village [Wikipedia]
- Saving the Military Dependents’ Villages [Taiwan Panorama]
- Veteran’s Paintings Put Dependents’ Village on the Map [Taipei Times]
A handful of other photos can be found on my Rainbow Military Dependents’ Flickr set.