Miaoli-based photographer Tzeng Chin-fa (曾進發) has won two gold, five silver, and two bronze awards at the 2021 Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA).
His gold-winning works include a series themed "Traditional Cultural Skills In Disappearance," which includes photographs of his 90-year-old mother using the sewing machine, and a wedding photograph titled "Named After Mount Fuji" which shows a newlywed couple standing by the Kawaguchiko Lake under Mount Fuji during the cherry blossom season in April.
Through the photographic series "Traditional Cultural Skills In Disappearance," Tzeng presents the images in black-and-white and applied wet-plate photography techniques to portray a nostalgic look, depicting the waning of traditional agricultural practices and skill such as facial threading, sewing, hand weaving, cooking Taiwanese rice cake (kueh), Chinese sticky rice dumpling (zongzi) as well as hand-stitching clothes.
In an interview, Tzeng expressed his excitement of winning the award, and he was especially happy that the series which features photographs of his mother won the gold award in the People/Culture category.
Tzeng noted that, while Taiwan becomes a technologically advanced nation, the traditional agriculture and skills are in decline. Through his photography works, he hopes that it will trigger memories, connect us to our past and shape our lives with feelings and humanity.
In January, Tzeng was selected as one of the nine finalists in the category "CANDID (Moments Captured)" of the Portrait Project competition for the Lucie Awards - which is labeled as the "Oscars" of photography. In addition, he bagged 2 gold, 1 silver, and 5 bronze awards at the Tokyo International Foto Awards. His series, Tree of Life (生命之樹), was also granted a gold medal in the Advertising category's Travel/Tourism subcategory.
Tzeng has won several international awards in recent years, and, from his experience, originality is an important factor. He encourages more local photographers to participate in international competitions, so as to showcase Taiwan's cultural soft power on the international stage.
(Photo courtesy of Tzeng Chin-fa)