Sat, Jul 30, 2011 - Page 13 News List

NTU student wins French photography contest
台大生入夜加油站奪法國攝影獎

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).
台大電機所碩士生羅晟文以「入夜時分的加油站」為主題贏得法國Px3攝影獎數個獎項。

Photo: courtesy of Lo Sheng-wen
照片:羅晟文提供

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.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

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.

(他的父母花了許多錢,讓他得以就讀這間享有聲望的學校。)

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.

(社區決定在以前廢棄舊屋所在之處建造遊樂場。)

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.

(開得這麼快,她只有一剎那時間可以對突然停住的車反應。)


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.”

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATION AND ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY TAIJING WU)

台大電機所碩士生羅晟文今年以入夜時分的加油站為主題,一系列夜色低垂又溫暖的加油站照片,為他摘下法國享有聲望的Px3攝影獎,共奪兩金一銀二銅與一榮譽獎。

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。

羅晟文念的是工程,但他卻有雙特殊的攝影眼,已拍攝台北、桃園與高雄等地入夜時分的加油站。步入二十四歲前,他有陣子非常沮喪,但在入夜時看到亮著燈的加油站,「覺得好溫暖,好似在為自己『加油』。」他於是許願,在明年二月滿二十五歲前,要拍滿二十四座台灣的加油站。

談及為何以加油站為主題,羅晟文說,他看到一對攝影家夫妻搭檔,柏恩與希拉‧貝歇,長期拍攝即將消失的工業建築,如大型水塔與廢棄穀倉的態度時,使他敬佩不已。

他說:「一座水塔因季節改變,拍出來的效果不同,而適宜的角度與光線每年也只出現一剎那,因此同個主題都可以給那夫婦拍攝十幾年。」

去過美國旅遊數次的羅晟文說:「從亞洲到美洲、歐洲,我覺得文化差別非常大。我想要以攝影探討自己如何理解西方文化。」

(自由時報記者陳怡靜、王昶閔,台北時報吳岱璟)

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