【開幕前】演出前,當幕緩緩升起,正是表演者最全神灌注的時刻。(1995國立藝術學院)
【Just Before the Curtain Rises】The dancers project their focused minds onto the curtain before it rises. (National Institute of the Arts)





《角落‧映像》Corner Stories
~角落映像股份有限公司 出版
2003年8月初版

【相遇的那條線】
自序◎文╱陳建仲

我今年三十六歲,攝影在我生命過程中,停留超過一半的時間。三年前,我曾做一個夢,夢中出現一個人模糊的身影,他對我說:如果攝影是你的天命,那你有沒有想過,老天為什麼給你這個天賦?你手上留下的影像又是要告訴別人什麼?夢醒時,夜半三點,抹去滿臉冷汗,我立即衝向滿堆的照片,急促地攪動一張張畫面,曾經留下的影像歲月,都在當下那慌亂的思緒中,一段段被檢視,然後被拋棄……小孩、老人、鄉村、田園、城市……直至清晨五點,我卻找不到一張對別人有意義的照片。當時,我有股衝動想放把火,把底片全部燒光。

十七歲那年(1984),我擁有了人生中第一台高級的單眼相機,初拿相機時,正逢人間雜誌創刊,雜誌中那種對社會關懷的論點,立即成為我握住相機的支撐。當時我整個人完全投入那種人道主義的光環中,根本無心上課上學,每天只知道背起相機,四處游走。時常人身在車站,卻不知該往何處去,於是便隨興搭上眼前的某一班車,總相信命運自然會指引我前往該去的地方。當時的熱情,帶給我生命的價值,也在我仍徬徨的年輕歲月中,像盞明燈般,篤定地指引我無懼前行……

退伍後,進入〈台灣新聞報〉工作,那年我二十三歲,攝影一下子從理想變成一種維生方式。每天我得花好多時間,拍些我並不想拍的事物,追蹤元首的每一個行程,搶拍話題人物,去警察局拍攝嫌犯肖像,在立院枯耗等著立委作秀,甚或是精疲力竭守著與警方對峙的抗爭團體。那時,每天最期待的時刻,就是深夜返家時將肩頭沉甸的背包放下。那段時間,我對攝影的熱情極遽降溫。

後來,偶然際遇下,我進入〈中國時報〉,這才又開啟我對攝影另一扇新的視野。在和國內頂尖的媒體工作人員合作下,我習得許多看待事情的觀念與態度,轉眼就在其中待了八個年頭。曾經,我一度以為這會是我人生的最終目標,我會在此手握我最愛的相機,終老退休。但是,就在我的生活逐漸安逸放鬆的同時,內心卻突然躁動了起來,而且與日俱增,我知道命運對我的安排並非如此而已。就在我內外煎熬、舉足不前的時刻,我遇見了一位重要的人,劉恆智先生。在短短一杯咖啡的時間,我的人生起了重大的轉變,當下我們決定創立一家公司,一家影像設計及出版公司,專門製作及發行影像相關的製品。就這樣,我離開人人稱羨的主流媒體避風港,揚起了角落映像這家公司的風帆,巍巔巔地航向大海,開始了尋找新大陸的夢想……

這是公司的第一本書,是我整理自己近20年來拍攝的影像集結而成。在其中,我看見了過去幾年的時光,有熱情,有想像,有感傷,有回憶,當然也有許多個人的迷失。裡面泰半的影像都是我後半生不會再拍的東西了,當年的瘋狂與衝動,放入現在冷靜理性的思考中,只剩下情緒的投射。因此,在我下筆之時,盡量努力去貼近拍照當時的心情與感觸。至於為何要出版這樣一本書,或許是我一點點個人的私心,為的是要慎重地和過去正式告別吧!

當我埋首於這些影像,深刻體會到每個人的一生都像一條曲線,有時候自己的線條會和別人重疊一起幾十年,有時候卻只有短暫幾秒的交錯。如果人生可以用一張圖來呈現自己的那條線,必定會驚覺到原來自己的生命曾經和那麼多人有過交集,而自己的曲線其實也正決定在這一個個很短暫的際遇中啊!

終究,我還是回答不出夢中人質疑我的問題:到底這些照片有什麼意義?也許我一生都找不到這個答案,也許我只是在為其他人製造一個與影中人物剎那相遇的機會。不論如何,這些影像是我用了二十年光陰寫下的日記,憶起那個獨自走來的角落,我感激自己曾經在那條路上,遇見那麼多豐富我生命的人與事。

【感謝】

阮義忠老師~
若沒有他當年無私的指導與啟發,如今不會有這些照片與回憶

宋振坤先生~
當年和他一起作夢鼓勵,給了我勇氣形成角落映像的概念

劉恆智先生~
短短一杯咖啡的時間,讓飛揚的種子落地生根
感謝他對我無悔的支持與協助,沒有他這本書將只是幻影

本書曾和我生命短暫交集的所有人~
他們是賦予我智慧、豐富我生命的來源

【Preface】
Turning Corners
by Chen, Chien-chung

I'm 36 years old, and I've spent more than half of the years of my life doing photography. Three years ago, I had a dream, in which a blurry man was asking me a question. “If your life’s destiny is to be a photographer, what is the vision you want to share with your audience?” Dumb stuck, I woke up in a cold sweat. It was three o’clock in the morning. I rushed to examine the photos I’d taken, one by one, hoping to find one that could answer the question. Two hours passed, and I was frustrated to admit that there was not a single photo that express my “vision.” At that moment, I had an abrupt impulse to burn all my negatives…

At the age of seventeen, I received my first single-lens reflex camera as a gift from my mom. That was the same year that Human Magazine was established, and its humanitarian perspective had a great impact on me. In its pages, I found motivation, the strength I needed to support the weight of my camera: To keep a photographic record of the real stories of the island in these ever-changing times. Every day, after getting up in the morning, I carried the camera over my shoulder and explored the island, instead of attending school. Usually, I would stand on the train platform and jump onto the first train to stop before me, for I believed that fate would take me to the place I was needed most. In those days of uncertainty and unease, my pure passion for simply improving society gave strength to my actions and ideals alike. The first time I saw the world through the viewfinder, I felt I had received a great gift. I knew, from that moment on, it was my lot in life to look into people’s eyes and tell their stories through the lens of my camera.

After finishing my military service, I got a job as a photographer at Taiwan News. I was 23. For the first time, photography became a way for me to earn my living. Day after day, I kept on pressing the shutter without asking why. As I followed the president up and down the island, wasted entire days at the Legislative Yuan watching legislators fighting for the spotlight, or stood between protest groups and police in the midst of a heated confrontation, the weight of the camera became more and more of a burden to me. Fearing that I was too exhausted to see what I was shooting anymore, I knew I’d lost my passion for photography.

But there are surprises around every corner in life. Thinking of leaving the media, I unexpectedly got a job at another paper—China Times. Now that I was playing in the big league, I was inspired by the variety of viewpoints represented by the many different photographers. Once again, I thought I’d found what I was looking for. But time proved me wrong. Just when everything seemed to be going as smoothly as it possibly could, my nagging conscience started telling me it was all too easy. I knew it was time to turn another corner. Meeting Eric Liu was a turning point for me. In the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee, I encountered an unexpected opportunity. We decided to establish an image company together, specializing in the publication of professional images. Without a second thought, I left the secure harbor of China Times, where I had stayed for eight years, unfurled the sails of Corner Publications and set off for the great unknown. We may not be experienced, but we firmly believe in what we are going to do.

This book is the first one by Corner Publications. All the photos inside are a record of my last twenty years. Passion, imagination, sadness, merriment, pain… fleeting emotions made true in the second a photograph is taken. As are my personal ups and downs. Portraits, scenery, still lifes… as I reviewed them, every brief moment in time was brought back to me by the click of a shutter. They were the best witnesses to what happened in those brave, impulsive, and idealistic days. Which explains why I was especially cautious when telling their stories, for they are the respectable common people living on the island. This is why I chose to make these images public: They are a formal and determined farewell to my past, for I know in the future they will not come into my viewfinder again.

Before publishing, I once again buried myself deeply in these photos. It was then I realized that a person’s life is like a curving line. Sometimes, one line can parallel other lines for decades. Sometimes, their relationship is as short as several seconds, a brief intersection in time. If life could be simply drawn into a curving graphic, people would surely open their eyes to the number of people they’ve encountered throughout their lives. Their curving lines influence others, and are being influenced as well.

Yet, after all this introspection, I still have no answer for that man in my dream. What vision do I intend to show to the public? Maybe I’ll search my whole life without finding the answer, or maybe the key lies in the quick and short moments when I encountered those people in my photos. Anyway, this book is the photo diary that took me twenty years to complete. Right now, when I look back at the lonely corner where I started off, and the many corners I turned before coming to the place where I am standing now, I appreciate the people, events and moments that shaped my life more than ever.

【Special Thanks】

Juan I Jong~
Without his selfless instruction and inspiration back then, I don’t think I would be able to see so many things clearly today.

Michael Song~
Talking of dream businesses, hours spent building castles in the air together, gave me the courage to lay the bricks for a Corner of my very own.

Eric Liu~
Over a steaming cup of coffee, he offered me a chance to plant the seed of an idea that had been floating in the air for years. His open-hearted support made this book possible.

All the people seen in the book~
They are the ones who taught me to lead a real life, who guided me to see the real story, and who moved me to feel real emotion. They are their own heroes.

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