This year in Taiwan, the Lantern Festival and Valentine’s day were both on February 14th, and it led to a firework of heart lanterns, a mixture of love messages and fortune wishes written on paper lanterns that apparently was startling for everyone, since there were people in the street till late in the night in Taipei, more precisely lots of youth and lots of couples, something I have actually rarely seen recently – was it that all over the island, boyfriends felt the need to finally invite their girlfriend to go out, or to grab a last opportunity to celebrate the last day of the New Year Celebration? Who knows?
The Matsu Temple is the oldest and arguably most important in Fengyuan, next to Taichung. Some parts date back to more than 300 years ago, as I was reminded several time during my time there! Many people go there on Chinese New Year’s Eve to pray for luck and success for the New Year, and also go to the attending Night Market enjoy some delicacies – Oyster Omelet! – or buy lottery.
Sour article today, while visiting the Kitschy Yellow Rubber Duck in Keelung…
I have never really wished to see the Yellow Duck-which has become some kind of celebrity in Taiwan, and I was even making fun of the seemingly deepless passion of Taiwanese for it, when my girlfriend reminded me that the biggest yellow Duck IN THE WORLD is actually in France… So I accepted to go and was actually quite interested to know what I would find there.
This is the 3rd interview for Litanies. The idea is simple: get to know Taiwan through the eyes of Taiwanese randomly met around me. There are 3 parts: one picture taken with a middle-format film camera that I give back to the person who does the interview, one short video of 3-5 minutes, and one article to give some background.
The interview revolves around 3 questions: who are you? what are you doing now? how do you see the future for you and Taiwan?
This time I met April, a 22 year old student who is also working as a showgirl in her spare-time. We talk about this special job, the way it fits in her life and study, and how she sees Taiwan as a young student.
To celebrate the new year, I am sharing with you a selection of my shots from last year!
My pictures reflect more everyday life in Taiwan than anything else; but my thought is that no matter what politics and businessmen are doing, people are still more important.
Recently, I joined my girlfriend for a week-end on the East Coast of Taiwan.
While Taroko is probably the most famous spot in Hualien county, if you just drive a few kilometers south of the city, you enter another bigger, protected area called the East Rift Valley National Scenic Area. It is not a national park but rather a protected domain that boasts quite a lot of attractions. For this post I will limit the visit to some attractions in the North, but if you are interested in knowing more you can follow the link to their (english) website: http://bit.ly/1ej4tEd
One night, I went down to the river. I don’t know, maybe it was the huge moon rising in the night, maybe it was the typhoon that was about to swallow Taiwan. The air was warm, comfortable. Friday night. It felt good.
It is around 9pm, I walk into a park in Taipei, next to Songjiang road, with two friends of mine, and we come across a group of grandmothers training with conviction. They carry umbrellas. There’s about nine of them, and one trainer. While they are performing, I go to the trainer and ask:
“-Wow, that’s a great group, can we take pictures?
-Yes. She pauses. But be quick. We have a competition this week-end!
Right at the heart of Taipei, next to the Chang Kai Chek Memorial, one of Taiwan’s biggest landmarks, there is a big plot of land owned by the ministry of justice.
When KMT arrived in Taiwan after losing China to the Communists in the late 40’s, the land was given to some public servants as a temporary shelter until an hypothetical victory against the Communists. However, this never happened, and the result today, more than 60 years later, is a complex situation leading to the destruction of an historical part of Taipei, a memory of the Japanese era and the recent KMT era.
Interactive Image: hover you mouse to see some pictures