Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - Page 13 News List

NTU student wins French photography contest

One of the photos taken by Lo Sheng-wen, a master’s degree student at National Taiwan University’s Department of Electrical Engineering, which won a medal at the Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3).

Photo: courtesy of Lo Sheng-wen

With a series of warmly lit photographs of gas stations at dusk in various parts of Taiwan, a master’s degree student named Lo Sheng-wen from National Taiwan University’s Department of Electrical Engineering received multiple medals at the prestigious Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) photography competition this year.

The 24-year-old was definitely one of the big winners in the non-professional division, with his series of photographs titled “Curiously Balanced (II),” “Abnormally White,” “Mao De Bao N ” (gratitude of a cat), and “Mother, in USA,” allowing him to snatch up five medals in all, including two gold, one silver and two bronze. Besides getting medals for his photographs of various gas stations around Taiwan, Lo also received a medal for best photographer in the non-professional commercial category.

Around the time just before he turned 24 years old, Lo became quite depressed. Seeing the lights at gas stations lit up during nightfall gave him a warm feeling inside, as if the lights were telling him to hang on and not give up. (Interestingly, Lo noted that the expression “fill up the tank” also means “to keep on fighting” or “don’t give up” in Chinese.) Thus, he decided to photograph 24 gas stations around Taiwan before turning 25 next February. So far he has already taken photographs of gas stations at nightfall around the Taipei, Taoyuan, and Kaohsiung areas. Although Lo is actually a student of engineering, he has a keen eye for photography.

When asked about why he chose gas stations as the subject matter of his photographs, Lo said that when he first saw the work of the German husband-wife duo Bernd and Hilla Becher, who took photographs of disappearing industrial-age architecture such as large water towers and abandoned barns over a period of many years, he felt a profound respect for them.


1. prestigious adj.

享有聲望的 (xiang2 you3 sheng1 wang4 de5)

例: His parents spent lots of money so he could attend this prestigious school.


2. abandoned adj.

廢棄的 (fei4 qi4 de5)

例: The community decided to have a playground built where the old abandoned house once stood.


3. a split second n. phr.

一剎那 (yi2 cha4 na4)

例: Driving at such a high speed, she only had a split second to respond to the cars stopping so suddenly.


Lo also commented on how the appearance of a water tower changes according to the seasons, resulting in remarkably different perspectives of a single subject. Suitable angles and lighting may only be available for a split second in a given year, and that is why the couple was able to work on the same subject matter for so many years.

Having traveled to the US several times, Lo said “The cultural differences are very obvious every time I go from Asia to America or Europe. I’d like to use photography to learn more about exactly how I understand western culture.”



二十四歲的羅晟文堪稱業餘組大贏家,以「Curiously Balanced (II)」、「Abnormally White」系列與「貓的抱N」和「Mother, in USA」奪兩金一銀兩銅。除了拍攝台灣不同地方加油站,他還獲得業餘組廣告藝術獎的最佳攝影師榮譽。






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