2nd Special Exhibition Hall – Hakka Photographers Double Exhibition: “The Place” Ye Cai, Liang Guo Long
Ye Cai Solo Exhibition: August 8 – October 31, 2022
Liang Guo Long Solo Exhibition: November 15, 2022 – February 28, 2023
Taiwan Hakka Museum Exhibition Gallery 2 (No. 6 Tongke South Road, Jiuhu Village, Tongluo Township, Miaoli County). Closed on Tuesdays
About the Exhibition
Pictures are the witness of an age, and carriers of cultural memory
Dynamic Hakka photographers such as Ye Cai and Liang Guo Long have documented Taiwan’s Hakka communities with their cameras from the 1970s and 80s on. This double photography exhibition reveals the feel and changes in society and the times through their images. Through their lens, the photographers capture the agricultural culture and labor of Hakka communities. At the core of this exhibition is the interpretation of Hakka photographers’ works, with pictures that transmit the spiritual meaning of Hakka culture, the local care and the cultural identity that the photographers reveal in their works. These works explain through images the contemporary Hakka diversity and collective memory, and bear witness to Taiwan’s social and cultural changes in recent history.
Ye Cai and Liang Guo Long are two Hakka photographers who have long tested the local pulse of Taiwan society through their pictures. The double exhibition at the Taiwan Hakka Museum’s 2nd Special Exhibition Hall takes “The Place” as its theme, displaying the photographers’ intent at the moment of pressing the shutter, expressing local narrative perspectives and Hakka identity through photography, staring calmly at the people, at the land, at the life in that local world. The pictures not only reproduce the life values of observers for whom photography is a career, but also bear witness to the traces of Taiwan’s social changes and collective memory in their subjects.
The first exhibition from August 8 to October 31, 2022 is of nearly 60 works by photographer Ye Cai. Milestones of a life devoted to photography run through the exhibition, from the time he established his dream of being a photographer at age 16-17 through to learning from older local photographers, his achievements in competitions, successfully applying to join the Eastman Company and going on assignments all over the world until the time in France when he saw the spirit in Taiwan in an artwork about water buffalo and finally decided to return to his homeland to continue to take photos of his beloved land and its Hakka people. His wonderful photographic works with diverse and rich subject matter are curated into five major exhibition areas: Picture Pathways; Explorations of the Island; Venturing Into the World; Return to the Start; and Where the Heart Leads.
“A camera shutter makes a moment eternal. Good fields slowly disappear, earlier sights become memories. To take photos you need good light, and then the right time and place. It takes many years to shoot a satisfactory photo.” Ye Cai.
- Picture Pathways: The History of Taiwan Photography Through Life Stories
- Explorations of the Island: The Start of a Career
- Venturing Into the World: Hakka People Going Into the World
- Return to the Start: Returning Home, Yearning for the Hakka Village
- Where the Heart Leads: A Glimpse Into the Creator’s Inner World
Introduction to the Photographers
Ye Cai (1946 –)
Ye Cai was born in Erlin in Taiwan’s Changhua County and moved to Hsinchu after marriage. He grew up in a village and from a young age was curious about the “black boxes” that took people’s portraits. He taught himself photography and in 1974 was a finalist in a photo contest organized by the Eastman Company. A year later he was taken on as a photographer and in eight years went to over 60 countries on assignment. When he saw on display in the foreign land of France a water buffalo artwork symbolizing the spirit of Taiwan, he was startled by the beauty of the culture of his homeland and promptly resigned from his high-paying job to return home to concentrate on documenting local life through photography. In addition to solo exhibitions, his work has often been seen in combined exhibitions in recent years. In 2013, the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Hsinchu County government published the photographic book “Ye Cai: 40 Years of Light and Shade.”
Ye Cai’s footprints are all over Taiwan. The subjects he has gazed at through his lens – scenes of Hakka farmland, traditional industries, folk festivals – reflect the photographer’s life experiences, his deep and close connection to the land. He thinks about his homeland, his whole life upholding human caring, with a calm but keen eye observing Taiwan’s scenery, humanity and life in pictures that capture precious and beautiful scenes of Taiwan country life from the 1970s onward. Nostalgia and a tranquility that overflows the camera lens run through Ye Cai’s nearly 60 years of photographic work.
Liang Guo Long (1959 –)
A Hakka born in Yangmei, Liang Guo Long is particularly good at black and white photographic creation. He takes contemporary pictures and condenses them into songs, giving his photography an unseen inner musicality. Liang’s pictures move forward like music, in a patchwork visual narrative that displays a unique aesthetic perspective from a Hakka point of view.