Textures of Taiwan: Taipei

Textures in a city are intersectional, they are physical, visual, and emotional aspects that interact with each other and create a certain mood or aesthetic.

Taipei is a city I’ve been to before, which means that walking back into the city with a camera is a different experience immediately.

What do I love about Taipei? What textures in  Taipei appeals most to me? What do I remember of the city?

These photos are a remnant of those thoughts and feelings.
It was never about being able to take a spectacular photo, just maybe, an honest one.

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Photos in order:

1 – 饒河夜市門口, RaoHe Night Market entrance
2 – 臺北地下街, Taipei City Underground Mall
3 – 大安區忠孝東路, Da An district, ZhongXiaoDong Street
4 – Somebody Cafe, 西門町,XimenDing
5 – 九份茶坊, Teahouse at Jiu Fen.
6 – 海邊的卡夫卡, Kafka by the Shore live music cafe

Textures of Taiwan: Taichung

Taichung was a rest stop for us after the drama of Alishan.

The highlight of Taichung, however, was the National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts. One of the best museums I’ve ever been in, full of intelligent, contemporary pieces.

I only featured 4 photos for this post, but that’s also telling.
Some places, you forget to capture because there is just too much to take in.

I’d like to think that is the best way of being present.


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Photos in order

1 – N Joy Taichung Hostel
2 – 國立台灣美術館 National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts.
3 – 國立台灣美術館 National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts.
4 – 國立台灣美術館 National Taiwan Museum of  Fine Arts

Textures of Taiwan: Alishan

For a brief 2 days and one night, we traveled two hours up the mountain into the heart of the mountain ranges facing West.
High above sea level, the intersection of different colours and textures are fresh. The sky and the ground here do really meet.

And i must say, there is nothing like the realization that up here, clouds walk among us.

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Photos in order:

1 – 山上雲海 – Cloud seas on the Alishan mountain ranges
2 – 雨後的風景 – The view after mountaintop showers
3 – 奮起湖,瓜園 – FenQi Lake, growing gourds
4 – 奮起湖,舊房子- Old Residential places in FenQi Lake
5 – 阿里山遊樂區 – Alishan Recreational district
6 – 民宿和茶農場 – Residences and Tea Farms on the mountain
7 – 奮起湖 – FenQi Lake

Textures of Taiwan: Tainan

Tainan is a city the colour of old things. It is the oldest city in the country, and is still home to many vestiges of Taiwan’s past, including the Japanese Occupation.

We often think faded when we think old, but as I roamed the city I found that old sometimes means bold, bright, and hardy.
I loved the way the old stood in this city.

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Photos in order:

1  -台南老街 – Old residential alleyways
2 – 觀夕平台 -Sunset viewing platform
3 – 懷舊玩具  – Tinker Toy Vintage stall
4 – 台南老房  -Old residential houses
5 – 延平街 店 -Shop on YanPing St.
6 – 延平街頭  – Shop near YanPing St.
7 – 林百貨頂樓 – Top Floor at the Old Hayashi Department Store

Textures of Taiwan: Kaohsiung

Every time I make up my mind to organize my traveling photos into an album and share it I stare at the number of photographs to be screened and give up before I even begin.

I wouldn’t call myself a photographer.

Photo taking is my way of recording things I want to remember for my art – my writing.

When traveling in Taiwan earlier this summer I was really drawn to the way an environment is made up of layers upon layers.

These layers interact with each other to create the landscapes around us.

To me, these layers have moods and affectations, and upon encountering them I want to remember their particular sensations.

They inspire me to write things.

So I’ve compiled a few photographs from each location I visited just to share the scenes I thought most lovely.

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Photos in order: 
1 – 蓮池潭 – Lotus Lake
2 – 蓮池潭, Pavilion on the Lotus Lake
3 – 駁二藝術特區, Pier 2 Art District
4 – 駁二藝術特區, Pier 2 Art District
5 – 真愛碼頭, Love Pier
6 – 旗津島, Cijin Island
7 – 旗津島, Cijin Island
8 – 旗津島, Cijin Island


epistles: on summer

Admittedly, I am far more attracted to the silhouette of autumn.
In her dying hues she reminds me always of the fires inside me,
fires at a distance in their ebbing warmth and crackling invitation.
The way I want to burn.

Also do I harbour a quiet adoration for winter.
Fresh powdery silences much like the quiet in my bones,
Imprinting and imprinted on daily.
The way I darken so quickly, and brighten so new.

For spring my love is in smatterings.
Mostly for the rain she has in abundance, water I have
craved to possess in spirit but can never keep.
The way I will puddle in need and in want.

What then of summer.

Summer is not like the others. But she is all the others too.
She is my spring, autumn and winter in retrospect and foresight.

In her I find the way to restless rest and the communion of solitude.
In her I befriend the good of patience and the will of impatience.
In her I know the raging fire of my strength and the burns of my mistakes.
In her there are tears, streaked rain, and sweaty palm lines.

Summer takes me home and home and home, layers that get larger and more real.
She reminds me to wash off the blackening disappointment of my footsteps.
I remember white crests of grace and beauty and hope, tell my skin to be salt.

What tenacity that is tender?
What laughter that is firm?
What grip that is gentle?
That is who I want to be.
Here is longing,
the shape of me now and tomorrow and yesterday.

Look, here is the summer heat, and here is the breeze.
I am always coming to love all that burns within my body.
This year I am teaching my backbone the way of the palm tree,
and when they have fallen the bamboo forest is waiting.
I am welcoming the mist and have learned a dance to step when it leaves.
But I will gather myself together, like skirts in my grip.
There is the after-rain in my fingertips,
warm still, sunsoak memorying.