Juan's lens

By Zhang Kun ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-08-23 07:34:31

Juan's lens

Juan I-jong shows his photos that focus on rural Taiwan.

Juan's images have also been collected by museums such as the French Museum of Photography in Paris and London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Juan didn't get his first camera until the age of 22. He was a country boy and son of a carpenter, dreaming about a different life in the city of Taipei. He worked as an illustrator, designer and essayist in Taipei before he was offered a photographer's job for the local English-language magazine Echo.

He was given a camera and very basic instructions on how to use the shutter, lens, aperture and so on, before being asked to capture Taiwan's landscapes. He traveled with nothing but a book listing the train routes and ticket prices. The job took him all over the island. It gave him a perspective on rural life which he was eager to run away from as a younger man.

"It turns out that the best parts of a landscape are the people living there," he says.

With the camera in hand, he walked through muddy rice fields, wandered around villages and met people in their homes, participated in funerals and celebrations, and learned a lot about life.

From farmers toiling in the fields to miners loading the trucks and ethnic groups, Juan was determined not only to capture pictures in good light but also to reveal emotional moments to his viewers.

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