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Convergence of Nature and Culture: Seeing Tamsui through Artists’ Eyes

Surrounded by mountains and a river, Tamsui, which used to be called “Hobe”, has always attracted senior artists in Taiwan. Exotic and traditional buildings left by the Dutch, Qing Dynasty, and Japanese feature in its historic characteristics, attracting wandering literati. Artists are also inspired by this historic town. The paintings of Tamsui are a spectacular page of Taiwan’s art history. By following in the steps of Taiwanese artists Chen Zhi-qi, Chen Cheng-po, and Yen Shui-long, let us start a journey through Tamsui across time and space!

V. Conclusion

Although John Thomson was not the only western traveler in Taiwan in the 19th century, his travel journal is invaluable for the research into the history of Taiwan society. Furthermore, what he recorded is regarded as precious historical source for the research of Anthropology especially the Austronesian peoples. Since the equipment and techniques of photography was in the development stage and made photographing be a difficult and complicated job at that time, John Thomson still actively recorded and discovered fields that he had never experienced. Although John Thomson only stayed in Taiwan for one week, he still recorded and photographed a lot of things that he had seen. When we are reading Through China: with a Camera, we can learn how he viewed this exotic island, Taiwan. Moreover, people living nowadays are also curious about John Thomson and want to know his stories and the history of Taiwan through his photographs.

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