Today I visited two photo exhibitions in Taipei. The World Press Photo Exhibition (世界新聞攝影展) was in B2 of the Eslite Dunhua Store (敦南成品B2藝文間). The exhibition contains over 200 photos and absorbing all of them and their meaning takes some time. Many of the photos highlight war, conflict and poverty.
After I had spent some time looking at the photos I joined a guided tour. This added more meaning to some of the photos as the guide explained some of the background to the photos that is not mentioned in the captions (which are in English and Chinese by the way).
World Press Photo is an independent non-profit organisation based in The Netherlands that runs an annual competition to highlight the world's best photojournalism. The exhibition is also travelling to many countries around the world. The exhibition in Taipei is open from 11am to 7pm (closed Mondays) and runs until 24 June.
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The Suspended Border of Mae Sot (漂移邊境 美索影像展) features photography by Wu Yi-huan (吳逸驊). The photos are from Mae Sot, a town in Thailand on the border of Burma (Myanmar) where many refugees and illegal immigrants seek to escape from the troubles of Burma. Often life is not much better on the other side of the border were they must continue to struggle with poverty and various forms of exploitation.
I was especially interested in seeing this exhibition as I am currently reading Restless Souls. This book was written by Phil Thornton, an Australian journalist who spent five years in Mae Sot researching the struggles of the Karen people. The photos by Wu Yi-huan show the poverty that exists in Mae Sot, but also some sense of happiness and hope that might exist within it.
Money raised from the sale of the photographs will be donated to the Tak Border Child Assistance Foundation. The exhibition is at the Taipei International Visual Arts Center (TIVAC; 台灣國際視覺藝術中心), No. 29 Lane 45 Liaoning Street, Taipei City (台北市遼寧街45巷29號). It is open from Tuesday to Friday 11am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm until 20 June.