the tendency of street painting

Nowadays there are so many colourful street painting villages in all over the world, from Brazil’ Vila Cruzeiro to Spain’s  Mijas or Italy’s  Cinque Terre. because of the street painting, these villages got a big success on their tourism and good and healthy images. This tendency spread to Taiwan but the “street painting” project got negative reviews from local population and creative workers. Is this trend not suitable for Taiwan? Why?

Successful Case: Vila Cruzeiro



Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn (2014) said that the reason why they wanted to re-build Vila Cruzeiro’s image was because here was a slum, they wanted public would not afraid those local people anymore and accepted them. Behind of the negative image, what those artists found that was those local people were really close and loved where they live.

In this whole project, what they did could be divided into these steps:

  1. understanding whether this place is suitable for “re-building”
  2. closing to local residents
  3. inviting professional creative workers
  4. improving paintings from resident’s reviews
  5. getting local people’s trust and financial support
  6. expanding from small area to the whole village

The result of this case is undoubtedly successful, it is not only satisfied local people but also this things was reported by many journalists . At the same time Taiwan’s township officers also wanted to stimulate tourism by this method, here are two example of what they did:

Pic 1 :Before the street painting projects

Pic 2: After the street painting projects

Pic 3 : Similar painted objects in Vila Cruzeiro case

From pictures 1 and 2, the left side pictures is from Tamsui, New Taipei City and the right side one is from Matzu island. BUT!!!! Why is so different from Vila Cruzeiro project???

Firstly, we should know whether these two place are suitable for re-building, Matzu island  and Tamsui are both close to the sea and locate on the hillside. It is quite similar like Vila Cruzeiro. Secondly, Brazil is tropical region and Taiwan is subtropical region, it could say that Brazil’s weather is more unsuitable for pigment’s preserving because tropical weather is warm and clammy. However, those two cities of Taiwan are more closer to the sea so that the sea breeze will damages house or pigment’s constructions. Thirdly, those building in Vila Cruziero and Taiwan are similar, they are not organised and always have some illegal rooftop constructions.

There are so many similar points but why the result is so different from Brazil’s case? we can do some research about why our government want to paint a village or street?

Firstly,Taiwanese government wanted to rebuild a place because of stimulating the tourism,  it might attracted people to come here to check in and post on social networks (Facebook, Instagram…). Secondly, from the Tamsui’s case, they announced that they hired a professional street painting group but there was nobody have painting skills to “rebuild” Matzu’s little village. Thirdly, they did not ask local residents whether they want to their house be painted.

Thus, we could point out that why street paintings cannot be successful in Taiwan:

  1. Government just wanted to stimulate tourism but did not ask local people’s were willing or not.
  2. Do not respect to professional painting group and artists, they just wanted to save money

Even some tourists are attracted to come to these places but maybe they just visit one or two times in their lifetime so that what are local people think are the most important. A professional painting group should communicate with residents and come up a best arrangement for residents and village appearance.

Any creative idea or plan should bace on communication and get the best deal. Even street painting plan is not a brand new idea, government cannot just imitate what the result others did before, they also need to imitate the whole process. If they improve that these two points, tourists cannot be attracted by brilliant artworks and residents would start to protest it.




Haas&Hahn (2004)How painting can transform communities. Available at: (Accessed: 11 January 2017).





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