For a brief, yet interesting photographic look at Taiwan of yesteryear, the National Museum of History (
Entitled A Retrospective of One Hundred Years' of Taiwan Photography (
Focusing predominantly on people rather than places, the works paint an interesting picture of not only the development of photography in Taiwan but also of its peoples. The exhibition begins with some of the earliest photographs taken in Taiwan by foreign photographers.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Many of these early works, such as those taken by Japanese national Torii Ryuzo (
Ryuzo took some stunning shots of Atayal and Ami men, women and children, at a time when very few foreigners had ever seen such peoples, often dressed in their battle gear. His subjects are generally posing, fully aware a camera is being pointed at them.
Examples of works by Taiwan's "first" photographer, Lin Tsao (
Other works of note include those by Wu Jin-miao (
Some shots of the time are less funny, however. Deng Nan-guang (
The shot, taken in 1940, shows a group of soldiers walking passed a crowd of civilians, all of whom are bowing in respect, or possibly dread.
Sadly, like many other exhibitions at the museum, English language material is minimal and the show gives viewers an all to brief glimpse of the works of the nation's pioneering photographers.
For those who wish to learn more, and who posses moderate Chinese language capabilities, then in addition to the exhibition, a special two-day seminar featuring panel discussions and lectures apropos the history and development of photography in Taiwan will take place on Saturday, Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 9.
For further information about the seminar, call (02) 2370 6031 or email email@example.com.
A Retrospective of One Hundred Years' Taiwan Photography (
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