Deng established Nanguang Photographic Supplies in the Kyomachi (today’s Bo’ai Rd. area) of Taipei upon returning to Taiwan from Japan in 1935, setting the stage for his dual identity from that time on as a leader in amateur photography while continuing to set his keen photographer’s eyes to the places and scenes around him. For the editor, the images seen through Deng’s viewfinder and lens are especially evocative particularly under the context of the changing political regimes of the era. A photographer shaped by Japan’s new wave of photographic thinking, the multifaceted aspect of his thinking, beyond a strong aesthetic grasp, displays metaphors for reality under his lens, evoking his tender compassion for people. This quality in particular is repeatedly brought out in his work with female subjects.
This volume specially focuses on Deng’s romantic nature so as to establish the consistency of the images of the era under the photographer’s lens. I endeavored to apply visual editing methods to enrich the collective memories and actions, the mannerisms and the pictorial tension of shadow and light from town to city, to give expression to the potency of the photographer’s visual vernacular.
Deliberate arrangements such as juxtaposing two images for contrast, to extend space, or asymmetry of subjects to break direct linkage, are employed to demonstrate Deng Nan-guang’s control over various scenes. Not accidental by any stretch of the imagination, it is the product of a keen observer.
The rise of new thinking in modern photography starting from the 1960s did not change Deng Nan-guang’s basic tone. I am sure that, having experienced the pull of the new thinking but unchanged, he became firmer in his use of the miniature Minox camera, moving freely as his romantic nature took him, living out his life with panache.
By Chien Yun-Ping