BackLEE Hsu-Pin | The Scenery Enroute: Recurring Returns

Theme Description

The majority of Lee Hsu-Pin’s early works comprises warm sepia-toned black-and-white photographs that depict scenes of restoration in the aftermath of disasters. The content of his images often stand in dramatic contrast with their textures. His recent practice focuses on the symbiosis between images and texts, with works photographed using a traditional large format film camera and accompanied by his own non-fictional writings. 


The work, The Scenery Enroute: Recurring Returns, in the current exhibition, has been developed as an extension of a photographic survey conducted on Mount Niitaka (Mt. Jade) in 2019. Tracing the records documenting the first ascent of Mt. Jade’s main peak and eastern peak, Lee walks into the mountain trails of history, using images generated by mechanical devices to produce image fossils of particular moments; and using texts to describe his experience of traversing and flowing through time and space. He explores the temporal-spatial environments recorded in the narratives of the event from the perspectives of geographical phenomena, of the colonizers, and of external and indigenous ethnic groups.


In addition to black-and-white images, the exhibition also includes a simple, printed travelogue that describes the journeys of ascending the main peak and eastern peak of Mt. Jade, and of seeking out the source of Zhuoshui River. Unlike scenic documentation made by avid mountaineers, Lee is informed by his background in civil engineering as he overlays writings from different eras and perspectives to propose an observation report on the “scenery” he encounters first-hand.