Local Records: Taiwan Landscape Images
What does Taiwan look like? The appearance of aplace comes from the natural environment and cultural influences. The fullnessof the landscape is the culmination of the long-term interaction of the two.Contemporary Taiwanese people can easily recognize Taiwan on maps through itsform and outline, but the record makers of each age had very different ideas onhow the island of Taiwan looked. Therefore, it is difficult for us to imaginethat, in the maps drawn by westerners in the 16th century, Taiwan appeared inmany different forms. Similarly, with photography a commonplace technologytoday, it is also difficult for us to imagine how people from different times,ethnic groups, and social classes viewed the scenery and local culture ofTaiwan, and how they created and recorded the look of their age. Did they focuson different things? Did they project their own imaginings onto landscape images of Taiwan? Pleasefollow the contours of Taiwan's mountains and go back through time to the 17thcentury. Let us sail on the river of time slowly towards modern times and viewthe land of Taiwan from a bird's eye view. Let us see how people of differentages viewed the Taiwanese landscape through distant, medium and close-upperspectives. Let us view the changing landscape over time. Not only will we beable to see changing and unchanged environments through history, we will alsolearn about the fluid, yet intimate, symbiotic relationship between"people”, “time” and “place."