I have known photographer Lee Ming-Tiao, known as one of the “Three Musketeers” of Taiwanese photography, for almost twenty years. Recently, through helping the National Museum of History assemble collections of photographers’ works, I have met with Mr. Lee, this old friend of mine, many times. Whenever I see him, especially when I hear him telling stories about the good old days of his photography career, his words are like the breath of spring. His works, either those already well known, or those taken during recent travels abroad, have made a deep impression on me. Once I laid eyes on them, I never forgot them.
Shepherds 牧羊童, Tamsui River, 1947
Although Mr. Lee is eighty-four years old, he is still vital
and in very good health. The Taiwan International Visual Arts
Center (TIVAC), after holding exhibitions for the other two
musketeers, is this year presenting a solo exhibition of Mr. Lee’s
photos. It can be said that this exhibition is a retrospective of
Mr. Lee’s works. Included among them are not only his master
works, such as the well-known Shepherds, but also those never
before shown to the public. In addition to the above, there are
some color photos taken in recent years while traveling abroad,
pieces that are truly fascinating and sure to catch the viewers’
From the very first day I met Mr. Lee, observing his work
||Shetzu Bridge 社仔橋, Taipei,
has been an ongoing source of delight and warmth for me. His
images convey human sympathy, pity and the beauty of light.
Moreover, they also represent his personality. Take, for example,
the picture Floodgate #9. Though Mr. Lee took this outstanding
picture in 1946, it is now being shown for the first time.
In this picture, three things, the floodgate wall, the overhead
beam, and the shadow on the ground, combine to delicately
frame the composition. In the middle lies the Tamsui River.
Everything in the picture, . . . .