The National Changhua Living Arts Center will hold an exhibition featuring the National Museum of History's collection of studio photography by historic Taiwanese photographers from May 2 through June 2.
Central Taiwan can be considered the cradle of Taiwanese photography. The nation's earliest professional and lifelong photographers hailed from Changhua County's Lukang Township and the greater Taichung region. Prior to 1925, central Taiwan was also home to the highest number of photography studios, a record that was only overtaken by the north in the 1930s.
"Mirror Image / World Image: Master Photographers and Their Works in the NMH Collection" will display 65 works by outstanding Taiwanese photographers dating from 1910 through the 1980s to offer glimpses of Taiwan society in the early days and guide viewers to gain insights on the development of Taiwanese photography.
A highlight of the exhibition will be the works by the first generation of Taiwanese nationals who operated photography studios under Japanese rule — Shih Chiang (施強, 1876 – 1943), Lin Tsao (林草, 1881 – 1953), and Lin Chuan-tsu (林權助, 1922 – 1977).
Shih was the proprietor of Erwo Studio (二我寫真館) in Lukang Township. "Erwo," which means "two of me" in reference to the different perspectives of being photographed and being the photographer, is known for being the first Taiwanese-owned photography studio in Taiwan. Shih was a painter before learning photography in Hong Kong, and his artistic hand-colored photographs were specially loaned by his great-grandson Shih Chun-chuan (施純全) for this exhibition.
Lin Tsao, who founded the Lin Photography Studio (林寫真館) in Taichung in 1901, was fostered by the Lin family of Wufeng as a kid, and his early works include rare glimpses of the family gardens, servants, and elegant guests of that illustrious clan. His fourth son, Lin Chuan-tsu, inherited the studio, and the Lins' "photography dynasty" continued for three generations, becoming the longest-running studio in the history of Taiwanese photography before closing doors in 2003.
‘Master Photographers and Their Works in the NMH Collection’