Posts Tagged ‘photography’

reads: mollie’s used books live underground in taichung

October 18, 2010

Friends of ours have been staying with us on their way from Southeast Asia to India. I was out and about with them on Saturday, checking out the early hours of the opening of this year’s Taichung Jazz Festival, and stumbled across this haven of the printed word on Gongyi Road, right next to the 7/11 near the People’s Park.

Mollie Used Books has a good feel to it. Located at basement level it is was a bit of a struggle to find the entrance until we noticed the not-so-clear sign on the glass shopfront pointing it out. It has a cafe with some pretty good-looking food and a decent and varied selection of English books. Of course, if you can read Chinese there’s an enormous selection of books printed in this language. Adding to the excitement there’s also an exhibition space, currently showing photography.

Here are some pics so you can get a feel for the place:

Inside Mollie Used Books, a new second-hand bookstore in Taichung City, Taiwan.

A view of the Mollie Used Books cafe area. The second-hand bookstore chain has just opened a new store in Taichung City, Taiwan.

I bought three books that day. Martin Amis: The Essential Guide (Reynolds and Noakes, NTD80), Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck, NTD60), and The Dharma Bums (Kerouac, NTD150).

Books bought from Mollie Used Books, a new second-hand bookstore that has just opened in Taichung City.

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Copyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.
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finds: new taichung food and art places | part two: z gallery

August 8, 2010

Part two of a three part series of images, in this post you can explore the inside of Z Gallery. The gallery is located in an old covered market that independents are slowly converting into a series of artist spaces and shops.

At the moment there are five establishments nestled under the corrugated iron roof of the market: a contemporary art gallery, an independent film production studio and screening room, what looks like a literary space for writers, a vintage shop and a contemporary photography gallery and studio. The rent is super cheap in the area and because it’s so old, it looks like people can do what they want with their rented spaces. As a side note, the film studio plays screens independently produced short films from around the world every Saturday night. Entry is NT$50 per session.

Currently on display at Z Gallery are contemporary ink works by three Taiwanese artists, Lin Fan-wei, Tsai Yi-ru and Jung Jiang-je. I particularly love the art created by Tsai Yi-run.

Z Gallery.

Z Gallery.

Z Gallery. First floor.

Z Gallery. First floor.

Z Gallery. Window box.

Z Gallery. Window box.

Z Gallery. Third floor.

Z Gallery. Third floor.

Z Gallery. Another window box.

Z Gallery. Another window box.

Z Gallery. The bathroom.

Z Gallery. The bathroom.

Z Gallery.

Z Gallery.

Address: I’m not going to tell you. Part of the fun of this place is trying to hunt it down. I will say, however, that it’s somewhere near the corner of the art museum parkway (beside the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts) and Wuquan Street. Bring a fan with you as the whole place is unbelievably hot in summer.

Read part one of this series
Read part three of this series

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Copyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.

reads: what I read for work

May 11, 2010

I am lucky enough to have to read magazines on Asian art for work. I’m also totally in love National Geographic; I admire both the writing and the photography. Here are my recent purchases:

National Geographic – May 2010
artasiapacific – Issue 68 – May/Jun 2010
C Arts – Volume 12 – February/March 2010

All purchased from this Eslite bookstore.

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write up: waterfall, 2009 summer issue function

February 3, 2010

Eating, sleeping, making babies, or music, writing, selling, re-enacting famous battle scenes. What’s your function in life?

Function is a word normally applied to inanimate objects: a chair’s function is to provide a place for a person to sit; a cup’s function is to be a vessel from which a person can drink fluid. How does this change when we apply it to people?

I came across the 2009 Summer issue function of waterfall when shopping in Elite’s Chong Yo branch here in Taichung. You may remember the post. It was an exciting find and I was waiting till just the right time to open the magazine, a time when I could dedicate my full attention to it’s pages. And that time came this morning. Here are my thoughts…


What’s your function in life? waterfall‘s attempt to answer this intimidating question is both poignant and clumsy; some of their writers and photographers really do demonstrate an ability to capture this theme while others fall into a chasm of ramblings and cliché imagery.

The issue is divided roughly into three sections: Youth, Love and Microcosmos. A brilliant written piece by Shauba Chang really embodies the Love category for me. It’s melancholy (but not angst-ridden) tone reminded me of long lonely rainy Sundays when you’re stuck inside with too much time on your hands to think coupled with a stuffy brain.

Love of another? Or love of what you do? Or both? Is that perhaps, your function?

Many people have a day job that they don’t enjoy but do it most of the time; is that their function in life? I’d like to think it lies in the other things they do as well, the things they enjoy to do, their “hobbies”. There is a series of images on pages 126 to 129, by Tammy Mercure, that shows people in their own unique and happiest habitats. This series, for me, epitomized the theme Microcosmos, and really made me think about my own miniature world.

waterfall’s 2009 Summer issue function doesn’t exactly answer the question it poses but I don’t think it can be expected to. It does succeed in making you ponder the subject, giving you a lot of food, perhaps bacon, or maybe a burger, for thought. Even if you do have to occasionally wade through some terribly edited English-as-a-second-language writing.

I can’t seem to find when their next issue will hit the shelves and they are still advertising this, their summer edition, as their current issue. Explore their website. See what you can hunt down.

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they speak: HUKUROU

August 3, 2009

I bought some shoes from this store recently. They are very, very lovely. Hand-made by the artist they fulfil my ever-strong desire for originality. I also bought some cute anchor earrings. I am still a sucker for anchors even though they have now thoroughly entered mainstream fashion.

P1030475

HUKUROU is one cute place to shop. It is located in Taichung’s Art Street and full to the brim with handcrafted items, from earrings, pendants and clothing to rubber stamps, toys and knitted pen covers. (I really don’t know how to describe these objects but they look like finger puppets and fit over the top of your pen.) Anyone who receives a gift from me in the post over the next few months can be assured it will come from this store.

Luckily for me, the owner, Faby, speaks English so I was able to ask her a few quick questions…

JoB: Why did you decide to open a store like HUKUROU?
F: I began creating design work three years ago. At that time, I hoped I could have my own shop to sell my works in Taiwan.

JoB: When did HUKUROU open? What does the name mean?
F: The shop opened in February, 2009. HUKUROU means “owl” in Japanese. It’s also the name of my brand. HUKUROU also means “happiness” and “work hard” in Japanese and I liked that ethos.

Hukurou_ShopFront

JoB: So, you studied design in Seattle. When and how long for?
F: I stayed in Seattle for five years where I studied visual communication, which is similar to graphic and web design.

JoB: Do you design any of the items you sell?
F: I design all of the accessories in my shop. Every item includes a hand-painted feature piece.

JoB: How do you select the work that appears in HUKUROU? Is it by choosing stuff that you like, or stuff that you know will sell?
F: When I was planning the shop, I started to research what kinds of stuff I wanted to have. Then, I tried to select brands that matched the style and look I wanted.

JoB: You mentioned you represent 20 designers? Can you name some of them? Are they all from Taiwan or are they also from abroad?
F: All of the designers are Taiwanese. The shoes are designed under the label, White Not. The designer paints her designs on blank shoes and will make to order. One of our bag designers works under the label One Dog. All of the bags she designs are shaped liked dogs. Her designs usually start with a story and people like to collect the whole set.

Hukurou_WhiteNot

White Not

One Dog

One Dog

JoB: Is Art Street the right location for your store? If yes, why?
F: I’m really happy to have my shop in Art Street! It’s not a very busy location, but it’s just what I want. People come to Art Street because they want to find something new or some specialist design works.

JoB: What did you do after studying and before starting HUKUROU?
F: Before I started my own brand and this shop I worked in Taipei as a bag designer for Disney.

JoB: What are your favorite places to go in Taichung (for music, food, shopping…)?
F: Actually, I don’t have a lot time to go out now I have opened the shop. I usually go to Daiso, a great place to shop place if you don’t want to spend too much. All of the goods in Daiso are $39 NT! Another place I like to go is Eslite; it’s not just a bookstore, it’s also a mall. They have a great food court, too.

Visit their website for more pics and a map.

Hukurou_ShopInside
Images courtesy of HUKUROU.

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Copyright © 2010. This website is for personal non-commercial use only. All written work and imagery copyright to jar of buttons unless otherwise stated.