BackHSU Cheng-Tang | Zhuoshui River Project

Theme Description

The main thrust of Hsu Cheng-Tang’s practice centers environmental and geological issues. While continuing the tradition of Taiwanese photojournalism, his image style is unique in the visual depiction of scenic objects and landscapes. He has participated in a number of interdisciplinary projects in recent years, such as When the South Wind Blows—The Documentary Photography of Taixi Village in 2014 in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural Science; Between Tectonic Plates: Geoparks in Taiwan published in collaboration with the Central Geological Survey (Ministry of Economic Affairs) and geological experts in 2016; and A Smoking Island: Petrochemical Industry, Our Dangerous Companion more than Fifty Years in 2018, written in collaboration with a number of text and image practitioners.


The work currently on view are highlights from Hsu’s long-term Zhuoshui River Project. Born in Taixi Village at the estuary of the Zhuoshui River, Hsu has documented various human-intrusions into the landscape over time. The perspective of his images may be ostensibly objective, but a powerful reference is enveloped in the beautiful scenes seen through his camera lens.


The works in this exhibition break free from the tradition of photojournalism that emphasizes the character-time-event structure. Texts and images are given equal emphasis in the 18 photograph and text pairings that describe predicaments in the human struggle to coexist with nature along the upstream, midstream and downstream of the Zhuoshui River, as well as the countless scars and wounds endured by the river in the process of industrial development.