Donggang, My Hometown


2020 / August

Jimmy Lin /photos courtesy of Jimmy Lin /tr. by Phil Newell

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Donggang Township in Southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County? The Burning of the Wangye Boat, a religious festival held every three years? The three treasures of Donggang: bluefin tuna, sakura shrimp, and roes of escolar and oilfish? Or the fact that it’s where the ferry leaves from for tourist trips to Xiao­liu­qiu? Donggang is my hometown, and before going away to study I spent all my time there. Since graduating I have been working far away from Donggang, and every time I go back there I feel the urge to ride a motor scooter through all the streets and small lanes, and then eat local snacks at several food stalls where I have been eating since childhood. Only then do I have the feeling that I have truly returned home.

In my work, I routinely record images of various locales with my camera, and the stranger each place is to me, the more my fascination grows as I photograph it. But I am so familiar with my hometown that I tend to take it for granted, and forget to capture its beauty. For this photo essay I decided to come back to Donggang’s fishing harbor, settle my mind, pick up my camera, and be a familiar stranger.       

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