A Gentle Breeze: Aura and Inspiration in Photography and Literature

2022.01.20 - 05.01
Taipei National Center of Photography and Images
Tsai Wen-Shiang
Exhibiting Artist(s)
Erwo Photo Studio
Shih Wan-Li
Wu Shao-Tung
Li Huo-Zeng
Lee Shih-Chiao
Lee Wang-Hsiu
Lee Ti-Chin
Li Mei-Shu
Lee Tiao-Lun
Li Cheng-Ji
Lee Ming-Tiao
Lin Cao/Lin Photo Studio
Lin Shou-Yi
Jin Miao Photo Studio
Shiy De-Jinn
Chang Tsai
Chang A-Hsian
Chen Shih-An
Chen Chin
Tang Sz-Pan
Huang Yu-Zhu
Hwang Pai-Chi
Huang Chi-Ying
Yang Bao-Cai
Deng Nan-Guang
Cheng Shang-Hsi
Hsieh Jin-Chun
Lou Fang-Mei
Exhibiting Writers
RuoXi Chen
Sol Yang
Chang Tzu-Hui
Liu Wai Tong
Chung Wen-Yin
Ministry of Culture
National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts
National Center of Photography and Images
Exhibition Overview

The exhibition A Gentle Breeze: Aura and Inspiration in Photography and Literature finds its starting point among a range of works by earlier generations of Taiwanese photographers archived at the National Center of Photography and Images, digging into the colonial history of Taiwan and its experience with modernization from the Japanese Colonial Period to Post-war Taiwan. The exhibition is curated in hopes of inspiring people’s reflection on culture and encouraging future conversation in society through the interplay between our gazes and the perspectives shown in the selected images. One of the major aims is to tap into how colonial aesthetics have influenced the perspectives of earlier Taiwanese photographers. Furthermore, with photographic documentation and observation that spotlight social status, folklife, and culture, Waves of Feminine Grace explores the femininity of contemporary Taiwanese women and depicts historical trends of aesthetic ideology that emerged in Taiwan’s society.

From the Japanese Colonial Period to the 50s of the Post-war Republic Era, also known as Taiwan’s Modern Era, the island experienced a major confluence of modernization and the impact of western culture. Through practices of looking and the re-emergence licensed through photography, this historical context contributes to the curatorial motivation to highlight the recessive ideology and the desire for freedom embedded in the images created during the modernization of the land. The exhibition features an epoch captured by the previous generations of photographers to present the fashion and aesthetics of society and the inner traits of a modern lifestyle. Highlighting the images of women, this exhibition showcases the images of the times and perspectives of ordinary people as a way of positioning the works in the context of history and inspiring further dialogues. Ultimately, the works are portrayals of Taiwan’s visual culture, connection to history, and the continuation of the life of images, allowing us to listen to the echo of history lingering in different periods of time. 

The display spans from the Japanese Colonial Period to the 50s to the Republic Era while also focusing on modern life and the grace of femininity. Through interpretational exchanges between images, the viewer, and social context, Waves of Feminine Grace particularly visualizes Taiwan’s past Modern Culture, which is also an aesthetic statement of the development of Taiwan’s realistic photography. This exhibition is chronologically divided into three major themes, including “The Shimmer of Tranquillity,” “The Patrol of Modernism,” and “The Iteration of Gazing.” In addition, the exhibition includes “Between Light and Rhyme,” which invites contemporary writers to compose literary works based on certain images, presenting the resonance between photography and literature and further inspiring new possibilities of dialogue between the history of photography and memory.

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