Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Orientation Taipei

****First Taiwan-Africa Summit: heads of state from five-African allies - Kingdom ofSwaziland, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Gambia, all places with official diplomatic links to Taiwan (unlike many allegedly exemplary democracies). Taiwan has links in "agriculture, healthcare, technology and handicrafts" with these regions and "offers opportunities for African youth to study here on the Taiwan Scholarship." The meeting was the product of thoughts between officials two years ago and had the intention of increasing communication, solidifying ties, and showing "how different Taiwan is from China, " according to James C.F. Huang, Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs. " We help African countries the way people help their friends, while China's huge investments in Africa are overly focused on...rich natural resources." In this photo, Taipei 101 and Taiwan support their love for Africa. Quotes taken from Taiwan News, Sunday, Sept. 9****ORIENTATION:
Not a lot of photos during this expedition, but a whole lot of hand-shaking, self-introducing, and meeting and greeting. We spent the weekend in Taipei at the 2007-2008 Fulbright Orientation.

Now, wondering "orientation? but he's been there a month? what's the lazy guy been up to?" Truth is, the group of us 12 ETAs have been orientated left and right, inside out, and outside in for the past month and a half. There was a process for orientating us to Taiwan. Then to Yilan, then to the Educational System, then to Teaching, then to our Co-Teachers, then to our School Cultures and Final Residency Placements...so on. We know a surprising bit about how to navigate and live in Taiwan. We all have bank accounts, Alien Resident Cards (IDs), mobile phones and Taiwan SIM cards, Scooter Licences, some with scooters and insurance, billz to pay, jobs in the community at public schools, friends and family friends in town, etc. We've been around a bit, too: Turtle Island, Keelung for the Ghost Fest, Taipei a few times, Su-Ao Cold Springs, Fulong Beach, etc. - more traveling than a lot of residents do in a year, and we've got it pegged in a month. We are oriented.

This orientation was for all the previously residing and recently arriving Fulbright grantees in the other categories. There are a number of Student Grantees doing research, and a number of professors doing work, lecturing, studying, and so on. The crowd and company were great. A lot of amazing minds. For example: Study of Confucian Analects and ritual in philosophy to show how philosophy is implemented and meaningful, Relationship between Buddhism and Science (for possible comparison to the debates between Western science and religion), Studies of the Occupational Health System, Comparative Lit Studies: Poet Wang Wei and Dante on Ultimate Reality, etc. Great things will be done this year.

This, to some, might have been an intimidating environment. Wasn't at all. In fact, we all felt very welcome and met some wonderful people. It helped as well that we had been so effectively bludgeoned by orientations beforehand, as we had some pertinent cultural and practical advice to some of these big dogs.

These were all wonderful people, and I hope to get to know more as time goes on.
Here are just a couple of shots:
****At the train station, fake trains painted on the walls behind****

****Dr. Wu - Amazing man heading the Foundation. Knowledgeable, Experienced, Straightforward, Humble, Funny, Hospitable...seems to be no end. Famous in Taiwan, as well. Expert Psychologist and Famous Performer. Couldn't be in better hands.****
****Jerry is in charge of media for the Foundation. Insta-friend****
****One small part of a buffet dinner. Shann Garden had a lot too offer, and I tried it all. This was my first time eating raw oysters of this size. Would do it again, but only to impress****

****Dessert Disc-Jockeys****
****MRT Station Halo 3 Convention****
****Steinback in Taiwan - Would love to see this****
****Curry Restaurant for Lunch****


****Taipei Buildings****

8 comments:

Stuart Pearl said...

Hello Dale - Stuart Pearl here again. I'm just getting the hang of blogging and linking so I hope this is posting properly. Your Taiwan photography is very intriguing. Some of the shots look like the start of a story and I want to see more.

I like the strong colors and composition, some of which reminds me of the graphic novel. From your profile I see that in that we both have a common interest.

Thank you for linking to my site and I was happy to return the favor. Continue to explore your photography. I see some great beginnings there and characteristics of a good eye with a sense of composition.

You mentioned in your comments on my blog that you are not always happy with the timing of the "available" image. If I may quote you: "...that the image I want isn't always available. I've tried to capture a lot of things at the right moment, and it takes consistent effort."

You are correct about the required effort. It certainly is possible to unexpectedly find great images. But more often than not this sort of thing requires careful planning where light, shadow, contrast and texture are involved.

Become familiar with your neighborhood. Know your surroundings. Learn the nuances, foibles and moods of the environment. Take time to watch the interplay of early morning sun or late afternoon light as it interacts with common everyday objects. Lackluster objects that you may not give a second glance become transformed when illuminated at a low angle.

My favorite time to photograph is early in the morning before I get to work. Things that appear mundane and common in the full blast of the harsh noon day light take on new life and texture through the touch of the angled sun. Bridges, old buildings, the river and railways are all morphed into new life forms.

This is why I've gravitated to Cleveland's Industrial Flats. It has many moods and I have only started to learn them. With each new season the light will change and there will be more "personalities" for me to meet.

I have no doubt that you will encounter similar experiences in Taiwan. But you must take the time to slow down and gaze about you. Reflect upon the great possibility of shots. Where is the light coming from right now? Where will it be coming from 2 hours from now, or perhaps 2 hours earlier? Will it increase color, wash it out, or show detail that is not now obvious?

I see a promising beginning for you Dale and look forward to seeing more of your work. Stay in touch and keep shooting. - Stuart Pearl

Stuart Pearl said...

Hi Dale - Stu Pearl again. I couldn't resist making another post when I saw your photo *Taipei Buildings*.

This beautifully exposed and colorful photo of yours reminded me of something I saw 40 years ago in Canada, although it was not as colorful. Check out:

http://www.greatbuildings.com/cgi-bin/gbi.cgi/Habitat_67.html/cid_aj1998_b.html

I was 15 years old and my parents had taken us to Expo '67 in Montreal which was a sort of World's Fair. Habitat '67 (in the link) was a prototypical living complex for the future that had been built on the fair's site and was actually occupied.

It's modular design reminded me of your Taipei shot. My father had even made an oil painting of it. It impresses me how there are often visual architectural similarities around the world. Nicely done composition. - Stu

Anonymous said...

Hello Moshi moshi...Mr. Albanese!
This is Tencho, you have awesome pictures as pro. Your pictures rimind me everything when I was in Taiwan in couple years ago. Have you been DIN-TAI-FUNG, Shou Rom Po as a Japanese term , sorry i don't know chinese word. It is Dimsum or dumpling restaurant. You can taste best Dimsum in the world with not expensive price. Please tell me after you taste them. You feel same as KOBE BEEF...hahaha..... remember it? Also try some nice Urong Tea behind of city hall at taipei. I think that also best in the world too.
Dewa dewa....sayonara!!!
Sincerly,
From your fellow tencho

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