Joel Aronson's
Taiwan Gallery

Unforgettable Taipei Street Scenes

(click on a blue-bordered photograph to access a larger image)

I carried a camera with me whenever and wherever I could, to capture visual delights that occured with great frequency. Photographically speaking, there never seemed to be a dull day and it was easy to expect the unexpected. I followed this lady who carried a turtle, its future as a soup ingredient was imminently certain. Several citizens were intrigued as I was, with the sight of this odd pair going down the street.

Another favorite photograph shows an elderly lady hobbling with bound feet, a now-obsolete barbaric ritual of maiming and bending a female child's feet to keep her from straying as an adult. Years later, young Chinese, to whom I showed this photograph, did not realize that this practice had occurred.

A multi-faceted frieze of life on a Taipei street as rolling wheels interrupt glimpses of a line of students, housewives, workers, waiting for a bus against a textured background of stores and bamboo construction walls.

 These "coolie" laborers, barely aware of the clothes on their back and the food in their bellies, seem unfazed by their sole responsibility to deliver this huge load of lumber. They struggle under an ominous sign announcing Taiwan's entry into the jet age. Within a few years, Taiwanese citizens will see their tiny nation grow meteorically to become a Far Eastern economic giant with these manual laborers and their simple wheels getting replaced by machinery.

Security forces on the street watch as a cage full of kindergarten students are pulled into morning traffic by the driver of their school tricycle. Daily life continued happily despite threats of invasion from the massive Chinese Communist mainland only 100 miles away. Our presence certainly helped to keep Taiwan peaceful and democratic.