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Photojournalist embarks on a 'love journey'

More than one hundred thousand.

That's how many photos Wang Chien-yu (王茜瑜), The China Post's photojournalist, has taken over the past six years. From this massive collection she has chosen 17 to showcase in her solo exhibition, “Love Journey” (慢漫:旅途的風景無限美好), which will open tomorrow.

Wherever she goes, our colleague Chien-yu always takes a camera with her. In addition to work, which mostly involves events and portraits, she loves landscape photography. To her, photography is a way to capture the beauty of life.

“Photography is my mentor that is always there for me whether I am happy or sad,” she said. “I have gathered some good stories over the past six years.”

The opportunity to set up the exhibition came from Chien-yu's friend, who recently transformed his coffee shop, U Space, into a gallery. But the name of the exhibition is something she thought of three years ago.

“When I finished my second exhibition, a joint show with my college friends in photographic circles, I decided to call my third show 'slow meander' (慢漫). Because I felt so tired and wanted to slow down the pace of my life,” she explained.

Therefore, in “Love Journey” you will see a sea of clouds she took during a flight to Shanghai, the peaceful ocean in Kenting, a Japanese-style eatery in a quaint Taipei alley and the aboriginal Paiwan tribe's harvest festival in Taitung.

“Images and words get to people easily. I want this exhibition to be warm, bringing the viewers happiness and hope,” she added.

Besides picking out the photos, printing them on the right photographic paper and ordering custom-made frames, Chien-yu put together an 80-page photo book.

“I understand that buying photographic works is not quite common in Taiwan yet. The book includes 60-plus photos for those who want to have them all at once,” she said.

Every photo is accompanied by a few lines written by Chien-yu, as a way to communicate with the viewers.

“I think the image alone is not enough if I want my viewers to see exactly what I want to say. Thus I wrote down a few simple lines to help them understand. As they receive the sense of warmth from me, the distance between people will then be reduced,” she continued.

Chien-yu picked up photography when she was 17, so I naturally assumed becoming a photographer is her dream — until she said otherwise.

“In fact, my dream is to become a writer. That's why I applied for the job at The China Post. I hope I can make progress in layout design, increase my competence in English and then start writing,” she said with a laugh.

“Love Journey” is the third showcase in the “Women Photographers” (寫真女聲) series. It opened in September with Janice Leu's (呂豔芳) majestic travel photos and carried on with Angeline Chen's (安蕎琳) playful self-portraits. For the opening of “Love Journey,” Chien-yu has prepared a self-made video clip, custom rubber stamp and interactive game. Come share this moment of joy with her. ■

'Love Journey' (慢漫: 旅途的風景無限美好)

► From Oct. 20 (Sat.) to Nov. 2 (Fri.) / U Space Image Gallery / No. 312 Sec. 1 Dunhua S. Rd., Taipei (台北市敦化南路一段 312號) / Free Admission / www.urdct.com

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Paiwan people celebrate their harvest with singing and dancing. (Courtesy of Wang Chien-yu)

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