How Art Transforms Communities

In the Philippines, as in many developing countries, slums are a big part of major urban areas.  More often than not they receive less love from local governments and lesser love from residents. The quality of life is bad, crime rates are high and security is a major issue. But as they make up a large part of the voting public, they’re here to stay. So the question now is, how might we elevate the quality of life in these communities?

One solution is using art to improve living conditions. Here are examples from other countries:

In Taichung, Taiwan, an area slated for redevelopment has avoided demolition. Dubbed as the Rainbow Village, the childlike art enveloping rows of houses is the work of 90 year old Rainbow Grandpa who started painting to protest. Once word got out that there was a quirky village somewhere, people started pouring in. Soon, popular opposition caused the government to halts its plans and the village completes its transformation to a favourite tourist spot.

rainbow3  copy


Gamcheon Village in Busan, South Korea was rejuvenated by street art. The place has a dark place in Korean history books as having hosted religious and political groups. After the Korean War, the village was a depressing place to live in. The government spearheaded a project to revitalise it and invited young artists to craft murals and sculptures throughout the area. The surprising and sometimes eccentric artwork drove in tourists. Today, Gamcheon enjoys an economic boom with more and more coffee shops and experience centres cropping up.


little prince

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.