BackRevisiting the Rural Villages

Theme Description

In the 1990s, the industrial workforce in Miaoli County had significantly exceeded the agricultural workforce, shedding the agricultural identity of the photographer’s hometown and transforming it into an industrialized area. The longstanding policy of “supporting industries through agriculture" brought substantial economic growth to Taiwan. However, the oversight of agricultural policies resulted in the exodus of the younger generation, leaving behind an aging population and abandoned farmlands. The remaining people still cultivating the fields were farmers who have dedicated their blood and sweat to the land throughout their lives.
In 1991, following the establishment of the “Hard-Neck Photography Group,” Chiu De-Yun once again took up his cameras and ventured to Miaoli to capture its local culture and scenery. During his trips, he observed that the rural areas he had visited in his youth were deteriorating. The diligent farmers he had photographed back then were now elders living alone in the declining countryside. This motivated Chiu to intensify his photographic documentation of the fallow fields in Miaoli, the shift towards mechanized farming, the depopulation of rural areas, and the profound transformations in the landscape following the fast construction of highways and expressways.