Origin, Transformation and Era Significance of the Traditional Photography Studio of Taiwan: A Documentary Study of the John Photography Studio


The first landscape photograph of Taiwan might be taken by Saint-Julien Edwards in 1865. In the early 1870s, Rev. Dr. George Leslie Mackay and missionaries used the technology of photography to capture many photos of Taiwan. After the Sino-Japanese war in 1895, Japan took control of Taiwan due to the Treaty of Shimonoseki, so Japanese photography studio entered Taiwan. In 1901, the Lin Photography Studio and Er-Wo Photography Studio were the earliest Taiwanese photography studios. During the Japanese colonial period, Taiwanese learned the technology of photography to operate photography studios. The most remarkable studios were operated by many Taiwanese charcoal portrait artists who learned photography. The reasons for choosing John Photography Studio as a documentary theme are: 1. John Chang's aunt, Ms. Chang Cong-Ming, was Dr. Mackay's wife. 2. Mr. Chang, originally a charcoal portrait artist, learned photography from Japanese photographer. 3. The Photography studio, founded in 1937, changed little. 4. John Photography Studio is currently operated by John's son, so it's easy to get John's works. 5. It did not transform into wedding photography studio and fast print shop. 6. During the development of digital photography, John Photography Studio continues to take film and digital portrait. For the documentary of John Photography Studio, there are three questions: What are the roles of photography studio, when the cameras were not common? The fates of traditional industries were confronted with urban transition. How digital process deconstructs the traditional industries.

Author Information
Chien-Yuan Tseng, Kun Shan University, Taiwan
Hsien-Cheng Liu, Kun Shan University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: FilmAsia2016
Stream: Documentary History

This paper is part of the FilmAsia2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon