Photographers International – Taiwanese Photography

Photographers International is one of Taiwan’s leading photography magazines. It was founded in 1992 by Juan I-Jong (阮義忠), himself a prominent Taiwanese photographer. Though the magazine has profiled photographers from around the world, PI has also focused on the country’s own image makers. Taiwan Vision, Issue No. 25, profiled several of Taiwan’s best, including Chang Yung-Chieh (張詠捷), Wu Chung-Wei (吳忠維), Hsieh Chun-Teh, (謝春德), Ho Ching-Tai (何經泰), Chuang Ling (莊靈), Liu Chen-Shan (劉振祥) and Juan I-Jong himself (PI gallery: “Retrospective: 1989-1990”). The web site has links to a short biography and a sample image from each photographer (although be forewarned that the links seem a little buggy in the English-language version).

Si Chi Ko (柯錫杰), a native of Tainan, Taiwan, who co-produced a photographic series on modern dance with his dancer wife Fan Jay Si, was profiled in Issue No. 16 (sample image). Clubtaiwan.com.tw has a gallery with another five of his images. A gallery by Taipei-born Chou Ching-Hui (周慶輝) can be found in Issue No. 60 of PI.

You can also see contemporary Taiwanese photography at PhotoTaiwan, which includes a short history of Taiwanese photography (for those of you who can read Chinese characters). PhotoTaiwan says that photography first made its entrance into Taiwan probably around 1860. Another site onto which I stumbled says that much of early photography in Taiwan was related to historical surveys of the island by the Japanese, who occupied the country from 1895 to 1945. A book called The Face of Taiwan 1887-1945 states that pre-1945 photography was conducted largely by Western missionaries and merchants. PhotoTaiwan also discusses the impact that more than four decades of martial law (under the then-ruling Kuomintang party) had on photographic and other artistic expression. Another relevant site is Digital Photo Gallery, which is described as “a group exhibition site of 12 photographers in Taiwan.”

(See also “I Do, I Do, I Do: Taiwanese Photography.”)

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