Ornate Mosaics in Guanmiao

Painstakingly piecing together the individual tiles for a lengthy section of wall
Painstakingly piecing together the individual tiles for a lengthy section of wall

A day out roaming the small town of Guānmiào 關廟, on the outer fringes of the Tainan City area eventually brought me to a striking roadside mosaic near Dàtánpí Lake 大潭埤湖, still in the process of being constructed, so I stopped to take a quick look at the work in progress.

Spend any time travelling throughout Taiwan and you’ll notice a lot of these near places like schools, parks, institutional buildings, or generally just wherever there’s a blank piece of wall that someone decided to add a bit of interest to; but this one I found unusually captivating in the sheer amount of detail and depth of colour used — definitely no amateur effort. A team of around 6 were rotating through adding the various pieces, and were very happy for me to take photos.

I spoke to one of the members who told me it would take them around a couple of months to finish the entire thing (including another 10 metre or so section of wall that you can’t see pictured), and he then took me to see another, finished piece nearby done by the same outfit a few years previous that you can see here:

An incredibly atmospheric mosaic in the town of Guanmiao
An incredibly atmospheric mosaic in the town of Guanmiao

It depicts pineapples being transported (a speciality of the region), and I think you’ll probably agree that it’s absolutely stunning and I’ve not seen any other so far in my travels that compares in terms of colour and sheer craftsmanship. Apparently this one took a team of 8 around the same 2 months to complete and I was told that the company are also responsible for some 3D tiled works in a park on Cíjīn Island 旗津島 which I’m guessing are these sea creatures that reside in the island’s Windmill Park. This would mean that Hongmao Gang Mosaic Studio 紅毛港馬賽克鑲嵌工作室 based in Fèngshān 鳳山 are the ones responsible, although I can’t seem to find it in their portfolio of works, although the style and quality of their previous efforts certainly support this theory.

And yes I know there’s a plague beneath it that would probably tell me all I need to know, but I can’t quite make out all of the characters at the resolution I took the image at, so if anyone has good eyesight (and better character recognition than me – not hard!) then let me know!

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