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Junk becomes art in hands of Taiwan retiree

By Hu Meidong in Fuzhou and Zhao Ruixue | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-06-14

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A painting created by Hu Dahua from Taiwan uses pieces of waste cans stapled together with nails. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

As visitors walk into a cultural park in Anxi county, Fujian province, they will be greeted by a usual painting depicting views of the area in which green mountains, blue rivers and buildings of various colors exist in harmony.

The painting is made of junk.

At 5 meters long and 1 meter wide, one might think from a distance that it's an oil painting. But a closer look reveals that it's made of waste cans stapled together with nails.

The work was created by Hu Dahua, 84, from Taiwan. He has been creating art with nails and cans for more than two decades.

Before his retirement, Hu worked with metals of different colors, and he is familiar with the properties of various materials.

When Hu was about to retire, he began creating images with nails and other metal objects, especially waste cans, as a way to enrich his life and promote environmental protection.

"I have to be very careful when getting pieces from pop-top aluminum cans," he said. "Too much strength will result in wrinkles on the pieces. Pieces with wrinkles can't be used in my artwork." He also needs to be careful because it's easy to be injured by sharp-edged metal.

To present perfect colors, Hu collects waste cans in many colors and patterns.

"It took me half a year to create the landscape of Anxi county," he said.

Hu's dedication is widely known and appreciated by local people. His friends and neighbors send waste cans to his home, and praise him as an environmental-protection artist.

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