Decisive Moment

By Noah Buchan  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 - Page 12

Chen Po-I’s (陳伯義) new series of photos taken following Typhoon Morakot, which brought torrential rain that triggered massive mudslides in central and southern Taiwan in 2009, attempt to capture the moment when the storm wrought its destructive power. The photos, appropriately titled Morakot (莫拉克), are currently on view at Greater Tainan’s Fotoaura Institute of Photography (海馬迴光畫館). On first glance, Chen’s photos appear to depict a geometrically abstract scene rendered in earthy colors. On closer inspection, the expressive splats of mud and twisted steel, remind the viewer of nature’s destructive power, and, paradoxically, the aesthetic beauty that can be created in its wake. Perhaps of no consequence to those who lived through and experienced Morakot, the photos remain aesthetically pleasing though darkly disturbing documents of a process that is becoming all to frequent.

■ Fotoaura Institute of Photography (海馬迴光畫館), 2F, 83, Chenggong Rd, Greater Tainan (台南市成功路83號2樓), tel: (06)222-3495. Open Wednesdays to Sundays from 1pm to 8pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays

■ Until Feb. 17