Fri, Jun 26, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Man constructs ‘Transformers’ art in backyard

By Tung Chen-kuo and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An Iron Man-inspired sculpture using Mini Cooper car parts is displayed at a park in Nantou County’s Puli Township on Tuesday last week.

Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Taipei Times

A fan of the Transformers movie series, 43 year-old Liang Nai-yuan (梁乃元) has unwittingly created a park in Nantou County’s Puli Township (埔里) that not only draws fans of the movies and practitioners of metal sculpting and allows them to interact with each other, but is also a shining example of what can be achieved by recycling.

Liang, who works as a landscape artist and a designer, said the park was started five years ago based on a promise he made to his son to give him a special birthday gift. He used parts from old cars to make a 4m tall sculpture of the transformer Optimus Prime in his backyard.

Liang said he had always dabbled in metal sculpting as a hobby and had even considered holding an individual exhibition in 1999, but he abandoned the idea after the 921 Earthquake that struck Taiwan that year.

The magnitude 7.6 earthquake had a depth of 8km and hit 9.2km southwest of Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), near Jiji Township (集集). It left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, with property damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$9.66 billion at current exchange rates).

It was the second deadliest tremblor in Taiwan after the 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung earthquake that killed 3,276.

Liang went on to create replicas of Bumblebee from Transformers and others from old car parts.

Liang also made a replica of the Iron Man suit that he had always wanted to make after seeing the character in Marvel Comics in his childhood, adding that over the past five years he has made more than 100 sculptures of robots.

Iron Man is a character that first appeared in the 39th issue of Tales of Suspense in March 1963.

However, Liang’s love of sculpting reached the point that he was no longer able to find a spare part in his yard and in December last year, he rented a 1,980m2 plot of land on Puli’s Nanan Road to store all his creations, Liang said.

The site also contains a replica of the Earth and all the robots have been arranged to face it, which is meant to symbolize the idea of protecting and cherishing the planet, Liang said.

As all of his sculptures were created from recycled or trashed automotive parts, Liang said he hoped the park would remind younger people of the importance of recycling and reusing items and that they should cherish the Earth’s natural resources.

The sculpture park should not only be a place to display his art, but should also be meaningful and educational, Liang said.

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