Caught in the Act
My usually impeccable sense of stealth failed me when I snapped these two workmen erecting scaffold in amongst the old storehouses that comprise the Pier-2 Art Centre 駁二藝術特區 in Kaohsiung’s 高雄市 Yancheng District 鹽埕區. Looks like I’m either not as quiet as I’d like to think, or maybe I just stank so much that detection was inevitable – it was a sweltering Midsummer day after all.
This Docklands warehouse complex was once a hub for the salt, sugar and fisheries industries, but later fell into dereliction after an economic downturn affected these sectors. It lay dormant until 2000, when it was scouted as a location to unleash silos of fireworks for Double Ten Day 雙十節, which brought the area to the attention of a local art collective who then set about repurposing them as exhibition space with assistance from the city’s cultural department. Gradually over the years, the creative industries and individuals have appropriated vast swathes of the old docklands and set about filling them with sculptures, murals, interactive installations and other fun works.
I’m not quite sure what these guys were constructing – presumably a large signboard or canvas of some kind, but I did enjoy the pastel tones the midday sun brought out. I’d love to say that capturing the faded mural figures behind them that seem to mirror their postures was intentional, but I honestly didn’t even notice them until scanning through photos well over a year later – they were nowhere near as well defined as I made them in the edit.
Sometimes accidental genius is all you can hope for.