Taking Taiwan By Storm: 1600 Paper Pandas and 200 Paper Formosan Black Bears

Two Paper Pandas - Taichung
Two Paper Pandas – Taichung
Two Paper Pandas - Taichung 2
Two Paper Pandas – Taichung 2

It all started last year in March. Sixteen hundred paper pandas and 200 paper Formosan black bears took to the streets, subways, and local tourist attractions in Taipei. I saw pictures of these paper cuties plastered all over the Taiwan news and social media pages. They were causing quite the stir – in a positive way, of course!

These paper marche creations are the work of French artist, Paulo Grangeon. They are not just something to ‘ooh and ahh’ about – they symbolized something much greater than that. It is to raise public awareness and knowledge. The 1600 paper pandas represent the number of pandas that currently exist in the wild and the 200 Formosan black bear paper figurines represent the number that currently exist today as well.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to Taipei when they were on display there. I really wanted to but it seemed like my job and other commitments at that time prevented me from hopping on the high-speed train and whisking me away to Taipei.

So, I waited patiently to see if they would come to me.

And they did.

And I got to see them not once, but twice.

These paper creations made their way to Nantou in mid-July of last year. My husband and I braved the unbearable mid-day heat just to see them. However, our visit had us seeking shade and shelter almost immediately (and looking for the nearest store to buy water). We enjoyed the display as much as we could but the weekend crowd made it hard to ‘squeeze in’ for a shot and the weather made picture-taking draining. I did find myself drawn to the pandas wearing the typical ‘Taiwanese farmer’s hat’ as it was a perfect representation of this region of Taiwan.

However, during the 10/10 long weekend in October, they made their way to our neck of the woods. The exhibition was on display in front of the newly built Taichung Opera House. Some of the pandas were decked out with masks and top hats so typically associated with opera. The exhibition in Taichung was also crowded but at least the weather was cooler which made the whole experience all the more enjoyable.

The pandas and Formosan black bears are still popping up here and there all over Taiwan. According to the exhibition facebook page, their next appearance will be in Chiayi in early February. So, if you are in Taiwan, you may still have the opportunity to see these paper creations!!

Have you ever seen something like this with an agenda – to raise awareness? Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts in the comment box below.

Photos taken in Nantou

The Straw Hat Paper Panda Bear in Nantou
The Straw Hat Paper Panda Bear in Nantou
Paper  Pandas in Nantou
Paper Pandas in Nantou
Four Paper Pandas in Nantou
Four Paper Pandas in Nantou
Close-up of the Paper Pandas and Formosan Black Bears in Nantou
Close-up of the Paper Pandas and Formosan Black Bears in Nantou
Being sat on - Paper Pandas in Nantou
Being sat on – Paper Pandas in Nantou

Photos taken in Taichung

Small Ones and Big Ones - Taichung
Small Ones and Big Ones – Taichung
Paper Pandas in front of the Taichung Opera House
Paper Pandas in front of the Taichung Opera House
Paper Pandas in front of the Taichung Opera House 3
Paper Pandas in front of the Taichung Opera House 3
Masked Pandas  Taichung
Masked Pandas Taichung
Pandas in Taichung
Pandas in Taichung
One Big Panda and One Little Panda - Taichung
One Big Panda and One Little Panda – Taichung
Lined up in a row - Paper Pandas in Taichung
Lined up in a row – Paper Pandas in Taichung
Close-Up of the Paper Panda in Taichung
Close-Up of the Paper Panda in Taichung
Close-Up of the Paper Panda in Taichung 2
Close-Up of the Paper Panda in Taichung 2
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35 thoughts on “Taking Taiwan By Storm: 1600 Paper Pandas and 200 Paper Formosan Black Bears

  1. I would have loved to see this too. It’s very sad to know that there are only few of these animals left into the wild, but I found this initiative a nice way to raise awareness about their current situation. I love Pandas!

  2. Oh I think this was copied in Suzhou, I saw a lot of small pandas in front of a mall but we were in the car and didn’t stop. I forgot to go back and check it…

  3. So they came all the way to Malaysia, and then go all the way back to Taiwan? That’s a… strange logistics arrangement.

    I wasn’t able to catch them anyway! They were mostly paraded in various locations in KL, and the weekend where I went back to KL, they were moved to Penang (where I just left), and then when I came back to Penang, they were gone again! Arghhh!!

    I love what Paulo is doing, and I especially love his quote: “If all humans die, all animals will survive with the earth. But if all animals die, the earth and humans will disappear,”. So true..

  4. What a great initiative! I may have seen photos of them before, but didn’t know that it was for a particular causeーuntil now, thanks to you! ^^
    I knew they were endangered, but only 1,600 left in the wild? That was a shock. (Then again, a friend who majored in zoology was explaining howーeven without their habitat disappearingーthey are a bit of an evolutional conundrum. (They used to be meat eaters, and have such a limited breeding period, etc.) It’s sad and fascinating at the same time. It’s not enough, but I’m glad zoo breeding programs seem to be proving somewhat successful.

    1. Yes, it is a great initiative and I just loved the exhibition as well. There are a couple of pandas at the Taipei Zoo. One had a baby last year which has kind of turned into a zoo celebrity as the life of the baby panda became big news in the media.

  5. What an incredible effort and so gorgeous both individually and as a group. It is a shame that we have managed to dilute the panda population so dramatically.

  6. Ooh! I read about this in the news, and it was supposed to be in KL at the same time we were there, but seeing as our trip was so short we really didn’t have the time to go see them! Thanks for capturing your views!

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