Yesterday, the rain and howling winds left me hunched over my computer for ten hours straight spotting dust off of dusty scans of negatives from a trip I made to Taiwan in the summer of 2003.
One of the prints from a series I shot from the window of a bus en route to Taipei was recently donated by George Slade, Director of the Minnesota Center for Photography, to the Minnesota Museum of American Art in memory of their former director, Jim Czarniecki. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to revisit these images and to create digital files for the first time.
Anyone who knows me knows that I spend most of my life in a state of unfulfilled romantic longing for one thing or another, and when I returned to Minneapolis in July after three weeks in Taiwan, I was heartbroken. I had culture shock coming home, as the abrupt shift in color palettes and cultural stimuli left a gaping hole in my soul.
I got a job waiting tables in a Thai restaurant. I bought a rice cooker and a dragon blanket. I watched all of Tsai Ming-Liang's films and all of Wong Kar Wai's films. I watched Japanese horror films. I wrote grant proposals to return to Asia to shoot photos, none of which manifested into another trip.
Eventually, I moved to New York City, and the pain has reconfigured into something else. When I take students in my night photography class at the ICP on field trips in Chinatown, I am reminded of these old feelings. I love their photos of chickens in foggy windows and of glittering things for sale. I love those splashes of pink and red and the blur of haunting faces on the street.