Wed, Sep 23, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Artist’s mural transforms station

FACEBOOK HOTSPOT:Douliou Stationmaster Lin Wen-chin said that he commissioned local artist Kao Chin-wei’s 10m by 3m mural for the enjoyment of the station’s passengers

By Lin Kuo-hsien and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Passengers wait for a train at Douliu Station in Yunlin County on Friday last week. They are sitting on new seats designed to look like cut fruit.

Photo: Lin Kuo-hsien Taipei Times

Local artist Kao Chi-wen’s (高啟文) mural at Douliou Station (斗六) has transformed the railway station into a popular site favored by netizens as a hotspot for Facebook check-ins.

The mural has earned praise from netizens, who have lauded it as “an original,” with one commentator saying that it is “much better than featuring knock-off anime characters from One Piece or Totoro.”

Commissioned by the Taiwan Railways Administration, the mural portrays the station platform as its theme and is about 10m by 3m.

Kao said the railway platform is a great subject for portraying emotions and human relationships, adding that a vast range of feelings of passengers are revealed in the brief minutes between a train’s arrival and departure, and his intention was to “capture the full drama of the moment.”

The mural shows a busy day at the platform, with 22 characters engaged in various activities.

In the center, a man is photographing a young couple posing together, while a woman sitting nearby is contorting herself to get out of the shot. Other travelers are preparing to embark or leave the station, saying their goodbyes or greeting friends and loved ones. A Chukuang-class train is pictured in the background

“People from all generations are shown in the mural so that every person can identify with an individual,” Kao said.

He said he wanted the mural to convey a sense of the world as a common community, so he included a tall foreign basketball player in the composition.

Completing the mural took about a month, Kao said.

Douliou Stationmaster Lin Wen-chin (林文欽) said he considers the station to be the township’s foyer, where first impressions are made and returning residents experience a feeling of homecoming. He said that he commissioned the mural for the enjoyment of the station’s passengers, adding that he is very happy with Kao’s work.

In addition to the mural, Taiwan Railways Administration officials are working with the Douliou City Office to include information about local attractions, cuisine and cultural events at the station, Lin said, adding that it is his wish for the station to become “an engine for the Yunlin tourism industry.”

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