According to Taiwan media reports, Lin Youde, a tenth grade high school student in Taipei, traded eight paintings of beautiful Minnan buildings for 14 days free lodging in historic Kinmen Island. Lin Youde had traveled alone to other places to sketch. Now, in addition to attending school, he focuses exclusively on traveling and painting.
Lin Youde has a keen interest in ancient Minnan buildings. At a friend’s suggestion, he decided to travel to Kinmen Island in Taiwan, where well-preserved historic homes mix with the Western-style buildings. He hoped to exchange his skills as a painter for lodging, and to use his paint brushes to experience the island.
Lin posted his art works on his Facebook page with the message: “Willing to work for lodging while touring the island” on the Kinmen community board. His natural, lively style soon attracted Zhuang Shi Hong, the owner of “Happy Tree House” inn.
The two soon reached an agreement: Eight paintings for 14 days of free lodging.
On July 1, Lin Youde went to Kinmen with his paintbrushes and a few simple items. Soon his footprints were all over the island; many Minnan buildings appeared under his brushes, including traditional buildings in the villages of Zhushan, Shuitou, and Gu Gang.
Lin enjoyed his stay at Kinmen, and deeply appreciated the passion and hospitality of the local residents. One day while he was painting a bed and breakfast inn, the owner, Mr. Cai, came out and happily greeted Lin, for he had seen Lin’s paintings on Facebook. Lin was happy that they had met!
In addition to old houses, Lin also paints Western-style buildings. He also loves the vast and serene ocean. When he looks at Kinmen from one of the piers, he finds the waves crashing on the rocks very healing.
From Lin’s eye, Kinmen is filled with simplicity, tranquility, and warmth. He plans to go back next year, for he wants to see more of the island.
During his 14 days of stay, Lin completed nearly 30 paintings.
Zhang Shi Hong was deeply moved by his paintings; he thanked Lin for his vivid paintings, which allowed many more people to appreciate the beauty of Kinmen.
Zhang picked eight paintings and wants to exhibit Lin’s work in the near future, and to put them on postcards and cups to promote the island.
Translated research by Monica Song and edited by David Clapp.