In those rare opportunities when I get to experience something from a different perspective, I am always pleasantly surprised. A few months ago, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Taiwan during the winter.
A January Taiwan is a very different experience than a July or an August Taiwan.
Some background on Taiwan
Taiwan is my parents’ home. Neither of my parents grew up in Taipei, and my childhood trips to Taiwan were always to the towns in which they grew up. I’m a country girl, my mom would say. She spent her young years playing hide and seek in the rice fields, and Taipei was a big city that warranted an occasional visit but never was “home.”
Instead, my mother’s home is a town about an hour’s drive from Taipei. Her home is where I go every time I’m in Taiwan to visit my remaining grandparent. Her home is where I meet up once every few years with my Taiwanese cousins to eat and drink and catch up on family news.
[That top photo is the Longtan Lake, a few blocks from my grandfather’s house.]
Winter in Taiwan
For once, I realized, I wasn’t sweating every waking (and sleeping) moment of the day. The usual oppressive heat and sit-on-your-chest humidity had given way to a brisk coolness that wasn’t quite cold, and it wasn’t quite damp, either.
This was, for me, a new Taiwan.
So I wandered.
Muted greys dominated, only to be broken by brightly colored temples.
Walls of Taiwan
I want to do a series of photos about the walls of Taiwan. Taiwan’s tropical air forces walls and other edifices to age prematurely, weeping from the moisture. Cleaning the walls is almost futile. Why try, when moss and dirt return immediately like iron filings to a magnet?
// 35mm film photos taken in Longtan, Taiwan (龍潭) in January 2016 during an afternoon wander near my grandfather’s house. If, by some odd chance, you find yourself in Longtan, look for the Lupin Flower shop– that’s my aunt’s semi-defunct quilting shop. That’s where I spend my Taiwan trips with my grandfather, uncle, aunt, and cousins.