The National Taiwan Museum held a book launch on Nov. 21 for "Photographers of Taiwan Series II," which was planned and published by the museum. The six-volume bilingual series is a trove of splendid works by six veteran Taiwanese photographers, showcasing their life stories written in biographic style and celebrating their unique creative spirits.
Director Hung Shih-you (洪世佑) of the National Taiwan Museum said, the museum has been implementing the "Project for National Photographic Heritage Rescue and the Establishment of a Center for Photographic Culture" entrusted by the Ministry of Culture in 2015. The tasks include investigation of photographic assets, research on the nation's photographic history, collection of audio and video records featuring photographers, and surveys on the photographic sector. So far, over 7,000 photographic works have been successfully rescued.
Emphasis is put on first-hand written materials and images provided by the photographers and their families, explained Director Hung. In addition, the volume sequence reflects different styles. The series is published in Chinese-English bilingual format, for readers at home and abroad to gain some understanding of the booming development of photographic culture in Taiwan.
To reflect the progress of the nation's photographic heritage, "Photographers of Taiwan Series II" features six photographers representative of different styles:
Peng Ruey-lin (彭瑞麟) founded the first photo studio in Taiwan in 1930. His works incorporated arts and technology. As a pioneer in Taiwan's photographic culture, he held records as the "first one" in numerous events in the photographic sector.
Lee Huo-zeng (李火增) used lenses to depict the gorgeous lifestyle of high society and the everyday life of common folks on the street during the Japanese colonial era.
Wu Jin-miao (吳金淼) used photography as the main medium for his artistic creations. Recording Hakka life in Yangmei with his camera, Wu was known as the "Father of Photography in Yangmei."
Hsu Yuan-fu (許淵富) specializes in subverting traditional perspectives in photography and deconstructing objects and light. He has dedicated himself to the promotion of photography education in southern Taiwan by sharing his experiences and cultivating young photographers.
Yu Ju-ji (余如季) documented social events, illustrated policy implementations by the Taiwan Provincial Government, and captured the geographical features of central Taiwan landscapes with his camera. He was a pioneer of eco-photography and high-altitude photography in Taiwan.
Cheng Shang-hsi's (鄭桑溪) photographic works reflect his respect for nature and the sincerity conveyed in his works is very poignant. He used the camera to frame sceneries of Keelung and Jiufen, and was a proponent of photography education during his lifetime.
Having conducted in-depth interviews, made thorough research, and compiled information with care and caution, the editorial team of "Photographers of Taiwan Series II" provides analysis of the creative meaning and capacity of classic works for readers to resample the amicable flavors of old Taiwan.