Huáguó Theater 華國戲院 is one of hundreds of abandoned theaters scattered around Taiwan 台灣. Located in Pǔlǐ 埔里, a town of approximately 80,000 in the heart of Nantou, this particular theater was likely built in the late 1950s. If this post by Wáng Hénglù 王亨祿 is any guide the single screen theater was operated by a couple with the family name Zhōu 周 and specialized in showing western films before its inevitable demise.
The Geographic Center of Taiwan 台灣地理中心 is a modest roadside attraction at Hǔtóushān 虎頭山 (“Tiger Head Mountain”) in Pǔlǐ 埔里, Nantou, on the way to bigger attractions like Qingjing Farm 清境農場. As the name implies, it marks the geographic center of the island of Taiwan 台灣, albeit with a bit of a twist: there are actually two monuments here, one at the base of the mountain and another on the peak at 555 meters above sea level. It’s about a ten minute hike to get to the real center of Taiwan!
Last weekend I was wandering around the streets of Pǔlǐ 埔里, a town of approximately 80,000 located in a small basin in central Nantou, when I noticed this abscess in the urban landscape. Steel rods extend from a rough concrete party wall, the naked interface between cells in the body of the city. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before in other places—but never before have I captured this feature of Taiwanese construction methods quite like this.
I captured this photo at the Yen Family Ranch 顏氏牧場 in Pǔlǐ 埔里 one misty morning in late October 2015. I was there for Earthfest Revolutons 地球革命戶外電子音樂祭, an underground music festival put on by some friends of mine, and I wanted to ensure I would have some on-site source material to work with if any of my recordings worked out. Turns out I did get a mix out of the weekend—which you are welcome to listen to on Mixcloud—but I didn’t end up using this particular image so I’m posting it here instead.
The main Chénghuáng Temple 城隍廟 (City God) in Pǔlǐ 埔里 has been undergoing a massive reconstruction project this year. The work is nearing completion and all of the gods have been gathered on the ground floor behind towering stone columns still wrapped in plastic from the factory. Immediately outside the temple stone guardian lions have been installed, their eyes blindfolded with red cloth. They will be unwrapped at during a ritual ceremony known as kāiguāng 開光, literally “open to light”, and until then are wèikāiguāng 未開光, or not open to light.