The Divine Dictator

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A statue of Chiang Kai-shek as god inside a small temple in Tamsui.

Kuíxīng Temple 魁星宮 in is nominally dedicated to the eponymous Kuíxīng 魁星, god of examinations and one of the Five Wénchāng 五文昌, a group of deities representative of classical Chinese culture. He typically takes the form of a man balanced on one foot with a writing brush in one hand, his body twisted in a pose suggestive of the strokes of Chinese calligraphy. But you didn’t come here to read about Kuixing—this temple is notable for being one of only a handful of sites in venerating Chiang Kai-shek 蔣中正, president of the Republic of China until his death in 1975, as a god.

Moonrise Over Tamsui

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Moonrise over the skeletal outline of an abandoned home in Tamsui.

Yesterday I ventured out to to have a closer look at this historic town in northern . After a full day of tromping around forts, old streets, abandoned buildings, and temples I stopped in front of Qīngshuǐ Temple 清水巖 to watch the moon rise over the skeletal outlines of a gutted home now filled with poured concrete. Tamsui is more known for its sunsets but I have a habit of doing things differently. This shot is entirely handheld and, as such, the details are a little washed out and grainy, but it still looks nice at web resolutions. Moody and serene.

Temporary reclamation of a ruin in Tamsui

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A skeletal outline in the riverside park next to Hongshulin Station, Tamsui.

Yesterday I seized an opportunity to combine two of my passions, and appreciation of underground electronic music, at a one-off techno party titled The Whiteloft 白厝. From the event description:

The Whiteloft was originally an abandoned villa where only wild dogs go to sleep. Buried deep in silver grass, just alongside the Golden Waterfront of Hongshulin, Taipei, the building hovers the Interzone between metropolis and mangrove jungle. Humdrum pedestrians seem oblivious of this colossal fortress: its skeleton rusted and exposed, leftover building materials strewn astray. Despite its shroud of mangrove leaves, the building appears raw and naked. We tried to find historical records about this building, but found nothing but total blankness, hence the name The Whiteloft.