This is part 3 of the mini-series on Yilan. If you missed the last two, read them here
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Yilan is a collection of Jimmy Liao’s public art works. Jimmy Liao is one of the most well known Taiwanese illustrator. He has published over 30 picture books, most of them meant for adults. His works are mostly watercolor, light and children book like. There aren't many words in his books, often requires one to contemplate on the meaning of the stories. The stories are often poetic, melancholy and conveying a sense of loneliness, but have good endings. Many of his works have been made into TV drama, movies and plays.
To find out more on Jimmy see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Liao
宜蘭的幾米廣場我很多年前就在FB上看過照片, 一直很想去看看, 這次終於如願了喔
Some years ago Yilan procured a set of public arts from Jimmy to be displayed in front of Yilan Train Station. It was so popular that Yilan basically turned the areas surrounding Yilan Train Station into a Jimmy theme park.
All the sites are within easy walking distance, the arts are definitely Instagram worthy, but beware of the gazillion visitors. At times you might have to wait in line to take pictures. I had such hard time finding moments when there’s no one blocking that I gave up eventually, hence the reason for pictures below that are photoshopped with bunny heads.
Yilan Train Station
I love how they transformed this old train station into such a colorful and fun looking place! I didn’t get to go inside, I wonder if it’s as colorful.
Plaza in Front of Yilan Station.
Jimmy‘s Theme Park
Jimmy's Theme Park is right by the train station, where the old housings from the Japanese-occupied era are. As part of perserving these houses, the area has also been turned in a Jimmy-themed park, decorated with art works and wall murals from some of Jimmy's books.
我不知道幾米竟然這麼受歡迎, 不止宜蘭車站前廣場, 連人行道, 公園, 跟公車轉運站都被幾米佔滿了！
These two characters are from a book named “Turn Left，Turn Right”. I know this one the best because it was made into a movie. The story’s about a boy and a girl that live next door to each other. One always turn left in the morning, the one always turn right, they never meet. One day they finally met, had a great time, and want to see each other again, a sudden storm destroyed the papers that had each other’s phone numbers on, so they couldn't find each other any more (the story was clearly written pre-cell phone days!)
I found a youtube video with pictures from the book (In the video below it showed the titled as "A Chance of Sunshine", but the chinese book title is "Turn Left Turn Right", so is the 2003 movie adapted from this book)
The newest addition to the Jimmy collection is the Yilan Bus Station. This was completed right at the time when we visited.
I think they were still working on this wall when we were there
C’mon, don’t tell me you don’t want to wait for buses at this bus station!
When you visit, make sure to stop by this postcard vending machine. The cost of the card includes postage to ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Just make sure you complete the postcard and drop them off at the mailbox right next to it. I asked my friends to write on my card and mailed it to myself in the States. The card only costed NT$30, I have no clue how the Taiwanese Post Office not lose any money this way.
If you never make it to Yilan, another site in Taipei that has Jimmy’s public art is the “Moon Bus” across the street from Taipei 101, take a look at the pictures in this other post here