Here at The Chromologist we are all about the power of colour to enhance and transform lives. But few projects can have had as big a reaction, or created so many good feelings, as the paint-pot driven transformation of the Indonesian village of Kampung Pelangi. The project was created and funded by the Indonesian government, with the intention of driving tourism in what what previously an unremarkable town. Over 200 houses have been painted in stripes, spots and rainbow hues, with the village even changing its name, from Kampung Wonosari to Kampung Pelangi, which literally translates to ‘Rainbow Village’.
For the modest sum of around £17,000 the town has been given a whole new look, and is attracting huge attention on Instagram. No wonder – there are photo opportunities around every corner, with images and artworks hidden among the stripes, often on stairs and doorways. The project was originally the idea of local teacher Slamet Widodo who told the Jakarta Post that he was inspired by other areas which have undergone similar transformations. “The idea to create Kampung Pelango came after we saw the beauty of Kampung Warna-warni and Kampung Tridi in Malang, and later Kampung Kali Code in Yogyakarta,” he said.
Certainly Kampung Pelangi is not the first run-down area to adopt an all-over paint job as a way to turn local fortunes around. At The Chromologist we reported on a similar scheme in Rio’s favelas funded by Kickstarter contributions some years ago. The revamped Kampung Pelangi is however firmly a child of the Instagram era, and it is here that it causing users to swoon in their thousands. As colour catches on as a way to bring new life to run-down areas across different continents, we wonder how long before every town and village across the world has their very own Rainbow Quarter. Selfie!