Chen Chia-chi／Chronicle of the Ferryman Lin Bo-liang
1952年出生於高雄的林柏樑，在1975-76年之間師從畫家席德進習畫，他曾與席一同走訪台灣的古蹟與人文地景，因而打開了看見民間之美的眼光。同時期他也開始自習攝影，改變了原先的繪畫志向，始以相機作為表達自我的媒介。1977年，他因心岱的推薦，進入《皇冠》雜誌擔任特約攝影，展開他往後數十年以攝影為職業的生涯。1970-1990年代，他曾經擔任許多知名刊物的專職或特約攝影，如《時報周刊》、《時報雜誌》、《大自然》、《Free China Review》、《人間》等，同時也接受各種來自商業、公部門或非營利組織的攝影委託。
展覽時間：2017.12.9 – 2018.3.4 展覽地點：高雄市立美術館 301-304展覽室 Exhibition Dates : December 9, 2017 to March 4, 2018 Exhibition Venue : Galleries 301-304, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
A “fucha" is the wooden raft that ferried people back and forth between the sea and river of heaven in ancient myths. Here a fucha symbolizes Lin Bo-liang’s path of photography over the course of 40 years, which was like a solo journey between the vast domains of heaven and earth; Lin never paused on this journey, and even if what was before him had never been illuminated, he nevertheless paid little heed to the path he had taken.
Born in Kaohsiung in 1952, Lin Bo-liang studied painting under Shiy De-jinn in 1975 and ’76. At that time, visits with Shiy to historic sites and cultural attractions throughout Taiwan opened Lin’s eyes to the beauty of the common people’s world. Lin also began learning photography at that time, which prompted him to give up his original ambition to become a painter, and instead use the camera as a medium of self-expression. In 1977, thanks to a recommendation by Hsin Tai, he became a contributing photographer for Crown magazine, and this initiated his multi-decade career as a professional photographer. During the period from 1970 to 1990, he served as a full-time or contributing photographer for many prominent publications, including the China Times Weekly, China Times Magazine, Nature Magazine, Free China Review, and Ren Jian, etc., and he also accepted various photographic assignments from commercial, governmental, and nonprofit organizations.
Due to the needs of his work, Lin Bo-liang has long created photographs revolving around various types of topics and news coverage. But throughout his career, he always specialized in photography of ordinary people’s lives, folk arts and artifacts, historic sites and temples, scenic attractions and landscapes, portraits, and folk events. In particular, Lin uses the camera to lend traditional scenes and folk events colors and textures that evoke warmth and depth. In addition, in contrast with the conventional journalistic photography of his time, which favored black and white images, Lin was exceptionally skilled at color photography, and was adept at perfectly capturing the strongly contrasting, bright hues of Taiwan’s sunshine and local scenery.
Although photography was a means of making a living to Lin Bo-liang, and creativity was not his first priority, this does not imply that his photographs were made purely for the sake of his work. In fact he always approached his jobs with the attitude as if he was making works of art, like those folk art masters that he so deeply admired and who paid homage to their subjects with their marvelous craftsmanship. As a consequence, Shiy De-jinn’s admonition that “art should be learned in the midst of life" was very naturally incorporated in his photographs. And also because of this, Lin’s photographic career had no clear artistic trajectory, but was instead like a cumulative “systemless system" accumulated over a long period of time, while at the same time, his career was like the track of his life, and also like a lush garden with diverging paths.
Lin Bo-liang’s few solo exhibitions included “A Preliminary Study of Longshan Temple in Lugang" (1986), “Local People in Taiwan" (1996), “Glimpses of Mainland China" (1996), “The Last Licensed Prostitutes" (2001), “The Faces of Literature" (2004), and “Personal Memorandum" (2014). The only time that Lin participated in an artistic group was when he joined the “V-10 Visual Art Group" in 1983. Although his photographs were seldom taken for the sake of personal achievement, his artistic achievements were recognized as early as 1994, when he realized the Wu San-lien award, and he has frequently been invited to participate in joint exhibitions of photography at art museums. During the last few years, he has put down roots in Tainan, and slowly begun to organize works created over the course of many years. In this work, he has been assisted by the young local artists Chen Bo-yi, Lee Hsu-pin, and Su Yu-hsien. When he kicked off his solo exhibition “Personal Memorandum" at the Fotoaura Institute of Photography in 2014, this preliminary display of photographs accumulated over a long period of time caused viewers to recall the golden age of documentary photography, and also revealed the friendships that continued as one generation of artists gave way to another.
This exhibition continues in this spirit, and brings together more than 100 of Lin Bo-liang’s photographs from the 1970s until the present. The exhibition is his first solo exhibition in which his photographs have been presented on the basis of his artistic chronology, and it also relies on narrative video and devices to describe the stories, remembered places, and reflections that underlie many of his photographs.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Center for Multi-cultural Studies, National Cheng Kung University. 成功大學多元文化研究中心博士後研究員。
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