Folk art of Taiwan

 

 

Generally, the Taiwanese are a delightful and simple people, who love simple things, which is obvious in the everyday picture, e.g. through a rich and flourishing folk art, adorning house gables, embankments along roads, and innumerable other places.

 

 

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Taiwan 2017b
In Taiwan, electricity meter boxes are often decorated with paintings. The three upper pictures show kitschy examples from the city of Taichung: coconut palms, which must be an unknown hybrid, as the nuts are clustered on the trunk, and not, as is usually the case, just below the fronds (1); a perfect, cone-shaped volcano and a fancy flower park (2); and yet another perfectly shaped mountain with a gorgeous tree in front of it (3). The bottom picture shows boxes in the city of Huwei, Yunlin Province, adorned with tigers, painted by children. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016
This hedge near Sanyi is trimmed to form a dragon’s head. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018c
Kitschy mural in the city of Taichung, depicting a farmer with a water buffalo. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018b
Sculpture, made from old cameras etc., Xingang. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2010
Taiwan 2010
Lobster (top) and beetle, made from bamboo branches, Dongshih, near Taichung. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
Local art on a river levee at Linbei Chukou, near Linnei, depicting village life, and also the butterfly migration, which takes place in this area every spring. Nets have been erected along the highway in the background to reduce the number of butterflies killed by cars. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018c
Taiwan 2018
Kitschy mural in the city of Taichung, depicting a waterfall and an Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) (top), and a flying Taiwan blue magpie (Urocissa caerulea), a bird which is endemic to Taiwan (bottom). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Three examples of kindergarten children’s artwork, Taichung.

 

Taiwan 2018c
Smiling cat, wearing a cap. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018c
Chicken. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018c
Kingfisher. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
Decorated wall, Wushe Fishing Harbour. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2009
Taiwan 2009
Taiwan 2009
Taiwan 2009
Taiwan 2009
Various figures, depicting musicians, Spiderman, a gigantic bee, and a water buffalo, made from joined pieces of wood, Shenghsing. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Crash barriers along Taiwanese roads are often adorned with children’s art. The following 9 pictures show examples of this art.

 

Taiwan 2017a
Taiwan 2017a
These two paintings in the city of Taichung were made to promote traffic safety. The text in the upper picture says: “Put on your seat-belt”, while the one in the lower picture says: “Don’t cross, when there is a red light, so that you can get home safely.” (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018a
Long-necked giraffe with a monkey, a teddy bear, a cat, and birds, Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2010
School bus with happy passengers, near the town of Rueilli. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

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Longish lion, wearing a red cloth, Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2010
Smiling cat and dragonfly, near Rueilli. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

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Fairies, living in mushrooms, Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018a
Rabbit, Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2010
Sad dragon, emitting smoke from its nostrils, near Rueilli. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

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Artsy cat, Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2010
This monster on a wall in Jhuolan resembles a cross between a shark and a whale. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018a
Marine life: Octopus, whale, dolphin, fish, and starfish, Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Taiwan 2017b
During the Daoist festival Tzuoh Jiaw, held in the village of Dalinpo near Kaohshiung, during which local gods are worshipped to prevent bad events, four men perform a ‘bullfight’, while two other men are ‘fighting’. – Read about Daoism elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Daoism in Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016a
Sculpture outside an elementary school in Taichung, depicting a cat with a Taiwan barbet (Megalaima nuchalis) on its head. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016
Taiwan 2016
Taiwan 2016
Taiwan 2016
Three examples of folk art near Dongshih, south-western Taiwan: a bird, made from bits of wood (1); an owl, made from old flip-flops, tennis balls, and rope (2 & 3); and a heron, made from oyster shells, glued onto a wall. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018
Taiwan 2018
A frog (above) and an eagle in an iron fence, surrounding a park, Taichung. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2017b
Taiwan 2017b
From a distance, this painting in Sanyi gives the impression of being a huge wall painting, but on closer inspection it turns out to be a decorated staircase. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

In a suburban area in Taichung, a retired soldier has adorned an entire neighbourhood – walls, streets, doors – with colourful paintings. For this reason, the area has been dubbed Tsai Hung Tsun (‘Rainbow Village’). The pictures below show examples of his art.

 

Taiwan 2013
The artist in front of one of his paintings. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013
Taiwan 2013

 

Taiwan 2013
Water buffalo. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2013
Astronaut (?). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2013
Dressed up for a carnival (?). (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2013
Monkey. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Taiwan 2017b
Wall painting, depicting a giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), resting on a bench, Sanyi. – Read about the giant panda elsewhere on this website, see: Sleep. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2003-05
Red-naped crane (Grus japonensis), made from bamboo. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2008
Artsy food: Dog made from sticky rice, Puli. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2010
Dragon, made from metal wires and woven grass. – Read about the important role of the dragon in Daoism elsewhere on this website, see Religion: Daoism in Taiwan. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Five tiles in a city park in Taichung, made by school children.

 

Taiwan 2018b
Happy horse. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018b
Frog on a waterlily leaf. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018b
Man, who seemingly wants to have a boxing match with a creature, which is possibly a guinea pig – or maybe a black-and-white cow? (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018b
Hen on eggs. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2018b
Smiling rabbits. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Taiwan 2018b
Painting in an underground walkway, depicting a clown and a monkey, Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016a
”Marry me!” – A somewhat dilapidated ‘wedding coach’ has been reduced to storage place for firewood and a homemade ladder, Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2017
Taiwan 2016
Taiwan 2018c
The threatened black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) breeds on islets off the west coast of Korea, on offshore islets in Liaoning Province in China, and since 2006 also a few pairs in the Tumen Estuary in Russia. (Source: Birdlife International). One of the main wintering areas is in southern Taiwan, where up to 1,300 birds have been reported. Naturally, this iconic bird is also represented in Taiwanese folk art, as seen in these two examples from Cigu Black-faced Spoonbill Refuge near Tainan, and a drawing, made by a school child. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2017b
A tiny garden, established around a tree at the edge of a city street in Taichung. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Many areas, especially in central Taiwan, are adorned with wonderful art, created by a multitude of peoples of Malayan origin, who live here. Formerly, the wild boar (Sus scrofa) was of huge importance to these tribal peoples as a food source, which is evident from their artwork. The Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) also played an important role as a totem animal. Below is a collection of photographs of the artwork of various tribes.

 

Taiwan 2011
Taiwan 2011
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Taiwan 2011
At Wufong, near Hsinchu, Maopu tribals have created these mosaics from broken tiles, depicting a woman, who is fishing (1), a monkey (2), a wild boar sow with piglets (3), a goat (4), and an Asian black bear (5). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2014a
Taiwan 2014
Taiwan 2014a
Taiwan 2014a
Art work, made by Hsia-yeh tribals, Taitung. Men, carved on a pole (1). Two wooden sculptures, depicting a woman with pestle and mortar (2), and a hunter, carrying a shot wild boar (3). Engraving on a slate slab, depicting women with pestles and a mortar (4). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2016a
Taiwan 2016a
Taiwan 2016a
Taiwan 2016a
Song Lin tribal artwork, Wanda, near Puli. Three mosaics, depicting a hunter, smoking a pipe (1), a woman with tattooed face, likewise smoking a pipe (2), and a happy child with tattooed face (3). Burial stone for a deceased man, carved out of a slate slab (4). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2008
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Taiwan 2008
A collection of artwork of the Atayal tribe Da An (‘Great Peace’), Dongshih, near Taichung. Four mosaics, depicting men and a dog, hunting an Asian black bear (1); hunters, carrying a killed wild boar (2); women, weaving clothes (3) and baskets (4). Sculpture, depicting a hunter, carrying a shot wild boar (5). A bird-like creature, made from an upside-down tree trunk (6). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2011
Mosaic at Wufong, near Hsinchu, made by Taiping (Xi Sha) tribals, depicting people, celebrating during a festival. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2016a
Taiwan 2016a
Taiwan 2016a
Taiwan 2016a
Various artwork of the Bunung tribe. Sculpture in a stone wall at Dilih, depicting a woman, sowing crops (1). Decorated stones from Dilih, depicting a sharp-nosed pit viper (Deinagkistrodon acutus), which is venerated as a totem animal by various Taiwanese tribes (2), and women, pounding cereals in a mortar (3). Two slate slabs with engravings from Wushe, near Puli, depicting women, harvesting millet (4), and extraction of facial hair with a string (5). Two mosaics, also from Wushe, near Puli, depicting a Swinhoe’s pheasant (Lophura swinhoii), which is endemic to Taiwan (6), and a Taiwan serow (Capricornis swinhoei) with two kids, another animal endemic to Taiwan, which was formerly hunted for food by various tribes (7). – A picture of Swinhoe’s pheasant is found elsewhere on this website, see: In praise of the colour blue. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2010
Taiwan 2008
Taiwan 2010
Taiwan 2010
Taiwan 2010
A collection of artwork of the Atayal tribe Tian Gou (‘Heavenly Dog’), Dongshih, near Taichung. Wall painting and sculpture (1 & 2), depicting the following legend: Once upon a time there were two suns in the sky, making the climate unbearably hot. A mighty hunter took his bow and arrow and shot down one of the suns, which became the Moon. – Wall painting, depicting a hunter, who has killed a wild boar (3). – Three mosaics, depicting hunters, killing a wild boar (4), men, catching fish with trap and leister (5), and an old woman with tattooed upper lip, smoking a pipe while weaving a carrying-basket (6). (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2010
Bei tribal art at Erbensung, Shei-pa National Park. Wooden sculpture, depicting a woman with tattooed face, who is carrying a basket, using a headband. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2011
Taiwan 2011
Taiwan 2011
Mosaics at Wufong, near Hsinchu, created by Lin tribals, depicting a happy farmer with his buffalo (1), fighting goats (2), and a crab and a fish. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

 

Taiwan 2017a
Drawing on a road, depicting a dolphin, Bagua Shan, near Changhua. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2018
Mural in Taichung, depicting a boy, herding Beijing ducks. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
Mosaic in a wall, consisting of broken tile stumps, depicting fireflies, crabs, and other creatures, Yuantan Natural Ecological Park. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016a
These paintings on a house wall in Taichung depict shops, a farm, and men, performing tai chi. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

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Pigs, made from a tree trunk and branches, Puli. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

Taiwan 2016a
This roller shutter in a kindergarten in Taichung is decorated with a painting of Snow White and the seven dwarves. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2003-05
Taiwan 2003-05
During the Taiwanese Tainan Lantern Festival, celebrated during Chinese New Year 2005 (Year of the Rooster), these paper lanterns depict a tiger, and a farmer with a buffalo cart, geese, and a goat. – More pictures of lanterns from this festival are found on this website, see Culture: Lamps and lights. (Photos copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2016
Pig’s face, made from concrete, pebbles, and a small flower pot, near Sanyi. (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

Taiwan 2014b
This signpost in Sheding Nature Park, Kenting National Park, is shaped as a sika deer (Cervus nippon) – a species which was exterminated in this area, but now has been re-introduced. The text says: ‘Keep walking! Approaching to exit!’ (Photo copyright © by Kaj Halberg)

 

 

(Uploaded February 2018)

 

(Revised continuously)