Xiagu

Landscape

Xiagu

Xiagu. 2018.

Taroko Gorge. A rugged, marble-walled colossus some 19km long, formed by tectonic forces some 4 million years ago, then carved by the Liwu River. The walls contain Taiwanese jade, and secrets of ancient peoples who traversed it many many moons ago.

The scale of this Brobdingnagian is impossible to relate in a photograph. I tried, believe me, I tried. And at every point I stopped to capture the beauty of a scene in a section of this gorge, the sheer scale was lost. It was much like when one looks out the window of an airplane and everything seems tiny instead of very far away. I think our minds are simply not able to wrap around the enormity of it.

The essence of the gorge, to me, was the turquoise Liwu River and the rugged walls of the canyon, polished by eons of fluid erosion. The deep shadows at the bottom of the gorge, where the sun never reaches, and the cool air that never heats up. With those things in mind, I captured this image of the bottom of the gorge at a section where the river reflected the grey canyon walls, impressing upon the viewer the relationship between them – not only did the gorge form because of the flow of the river, but the river flows with the gorge, at times so deep that not even light reaches it.

An ancient relationship of elements where fluidity and solidity are unimportant in the face of time.

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