This place intrigued me from the very beginning. I first caught a sneak peek of this place courtesy of a profile picture on facebook. The sight of the little painted orange cat peeking from behind our friend’s head immediately sparked my interest. We asked him where it was and he gave us very specific directions as the place is a little off the beaten track and a few weeks later, we found ourselves making our way to Yunlin to check it out.
Yunlin is located on the west coast of Taiwan between Changhua and Chaiyi counties. It is predominantly known as a farming area with an abundance of rice fields and other crops.
We arrived in Yunlin and the search began. After driving around in what felt like circles without any indication of where we were or if we were getting closer or further away, we decided to forget about our friend’s ‘specific directions’ and enquire at a nearby 7-11. The clerk informed us of the general area but she told us that we would need seek further information about the village whereabouts when we reach the area as it is located in a very small lane that isn’t marked.
We finally navigated to the general area and found two farmers who gladly pointed us in the right direction.
This place is relatively new and unknown. It is so new that the two artists are still in the process of creating and painting the murals. And by the looks of it, it may be awhile before the entire art project is fully complete.
As we drove in the lane and around the turn, we saw a bright orange painted cat. We were finally here. We had finally located the place. A cat mural with bricks as arms and one of the legs painted on an electric pole greeted us.
A cluster of murals, painted on brick walls and garage doors lined each side of the road. Painted images of cats were neatly scattered all over the walls. Flawless 3D images covered several areas with an image of a cat (or cats) being the star(s) of the show.
As I began exploring the area, my presence was immediately known. I was greeted with a steady stream of ‘Hellos,’ ‘Welcome,’ and waves. It is pretty obvious that this rather remote countryside village (well, remote for Taiwan) doesn’t see many westerners roaming their little lanes.
Two artists steadily worked side-by-side creating two more 3D art murals. I noticed that every few minutes, they would pause, step back, evaluate their work, and re-adjust if needed. The artists took the time to explain to me what the overall painting would look like upon completion. It was really a pleasure to speak to them and I realized the great amount of effort and pride they put into their work.
After clicking more photos, I couldn’t help but admire the flawless 3D art and the overall attention to detail. This project has been a work-in-progress since August and my hat goes off to the artists for producing such exemplary murals while working under the scorching hot summer sun.
My favorite mural by far was the street scene surrounded by buildings with a bright orange cat in the middle. The reflections in the puddles of the buildings made the 3D painting so life-like. The meticulously painted details and the neutral as well as dark colors of the background made the cat stand out as the star of the show (or should I say painting).
From conversing with the locals and painters, there seems to be major plans for their area in terms of art. One said, as he pointed to the blank canvas of the buildings, that they plan to paint every single wall.
I plan on returning in the future when the entire art project is completed. Until then, I will leave you with a glimpse of this pretty spectacular work-in-progress.
What is your opinion of street art? And 3D painted murals?