The legendary Taiwanese photographer Ko Si-chi (柯錫杰) passed away on June 5 at the age of 91. In remembrance of the humanitarian compassion that guided Ko's lens, Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te will apply for a posthumous presidential citation.
Master photographer Ko was born in Tainan in 1929 and left Taiwan to study photography in Japan in 1959. He then moved to New York in the 1960s, cutting a new path for photography artists of Asian heritage with his unique emphasis on landscapes and portraits. He moved back to Taiwan in his 70s to focus on camerawork.
In 2006, he was honored with the 10th National Award for Arts by Taiwan's National Culture and Arts Foundation to recognize his extensive travels across the world that broadened his artistic horizons and created a unique style that crosses the boundaries between pure art and commercial photography.
When asked about technical schools of thought, he would reply: "Photography? When I look at this world, my brain begins to ponder how to frame what I see, and when I can finally picture it in my head, a feeling of comfort fills my being."
As one of the few Taiwanese artists to find success in the commercial photography industry in the United States, the 91-year-old was also one of the most senior and decorated photographers in Taiwan. Ko's photography style brings a unique and humanistic touch to the absolute beauty of "modernism" and presents the purity of a minimalist landscape.
His legacy is also preserved in the ongoing "Photographers of Taiwan (臺灣攝影家)" series published by the National Taiwan Museum as part of the museum's primary task of laying the groundwork for the upcoming National Center of Photography and Images (國家攝影文化中心).