Monthly Archives: February 2005

Joy to the World: Night Train

Some praise for Night Train from

Although the holiday season is over, there were
several times while reading Night Train that I wanted to jump
up and shout, “Joy to the World!” The fiction is just that good.
Both editors and writers are to be congratulated for this impressive
reading experience. The editors achieved their goal of discovering
“wow” fiction, and the writers created a satisfying read through
unique characters and complicated plots which entertained and

We reopened our reading period in early February.

Writer’s Clog

My friend Daphne Buter (who is ridiculously talented both as a writer and graphic artist) has a new blog,  Daphne Buter’s Writer’s Clog. It seems like it is going to be quirky, like the "bios of the day" she writes on Zoetrope. ( I have been bugging her to collect some of them and publish them as a book. Join me in bugging her.)

Happy Lunar New Year: Lion Dance (photo)

Lion Dance

Discovering Nanfang Ao (Photographer Shen Chao-Liang)

I was in an Eslite bookstore in downtown Kaohsiung yesterday afternoon, when I came across Shen Chao-Liang’s (沈昭良) Discovering Nanfang Ao, a collection of photographs about the fishing port near Ilan, Taiwan.

"Shen’s Nan-Fang-Ao is not just a picturesque harbor, the pavement is
bathed in the blood of a whale shark being cut open, the plastic mac of
the fisherman holding up a tuna is smeared in fish scales, the years
are etched into the ladies praying," said Jules Quartly in The Taipei Times, singling out some of the images, including Shen’s Cutting Up a Tiger Shark. Much of the collection (more than 40 images) appears on His photoessay "Here’s Looking at You, Babe," where he documents the birth of the child of his friends Fuyi and Lina, appeared online  on Sinorama.

Shen is a Tainan, Taiwan-born photographer, who studied at the World College of Journalism
and Communications (majoring in Film), and from the Department of Visual
Arts at Nippon Engineering College (Japan).

From Biathlon to Books

My travel piece about Lake Placid, "From Biathlon to Books," is on E-Marginalia. Take the time also to check out the wonderful photographic work of Jeff Fuchs, whose past work for E-Marginalia includes "An Oolong Quest in Taiwan." Jeff is a frequent contributor to World Geographic magazine.

Assiduous Networking

I was fortunate to have fellow Zoer Jessica Lipnack share her thoughts with me about a recent conference on social networking. Jessica is CEO of NetAge, a Boston
consulting firm, and co-author with Jeff Stamps of many books, including
Virtual Teams and The Age of the Network. (And, I might add, a generous person, who has given me advice on how to gestate a nonfiction book idea on which I am working.) She told me one presenter called bloggers "assiduous networkers." I also like what Jessica shared about the conference’s last speaker, independent consultant  Bill Ives.

The last guy is a dedicated blogger, who wins us over with his opening confession. He’s seriously technologically inept, as in he doesn’t know how to retrieve his voicemail on his landline. But he knows blogs. What do blogs bring organisations? He’s interviewed people in
business, NGOs [non-governmental organizations] large and small, entrepreneurs, individuals, and has found that
everyone says the same thing: When I need to know something, I don’t go to the
enterprise KM [knowledge management] system. I go to the smartest person I know. And those people are
blogging all over organisations.

He gets my best-of-show award for this single comment: his blog is
his “personal knowledge management system.” He begins with a simple post, to
which he can add links to documents, to other URLS, to discussions, to anything,
all in context, dated, and easy to search. (He’s designed his feeds from other
blogs to bypass Outlook and go directly into his blog.)

He mentions that the “Forrester analysts,” those fine folks at
MIT who brought us system dynamics modelling, have started blogs, that in
Kenya, there are group blogs; and, since it’s January, there are blogs for the
rest of us, “mind over platter” and “thinking thin."

During the week, he blogs about Portals and KM; on the
weekends, it’s art and cooking. The last words in the handout, his, are a
variation on the greeting card that our old friend from Digital showed this
morning: “You are who links to you,” the caption on the network map of his

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). 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.”)