Pamela Liu, PPSA, EFIAP  

Eight Generals by Pamela Liu, PPSA, EFIAP

June 2024 - Eight Generals

June 2024 - Pamela Liu, PPSA, EFIAP


About the Image(s)

I am sharing an interesting representation of the evolving nature of Taiwan’s traditional Bajiajiang culture. Traditionally, the roles within Bajiajiang, also known as the Eight Generals, have been exclusively played by men. The Bajiajiang are a group of eight mythical warriors, each with a distinct persona and purpose, serving as the vanguard for deities during religious processions. Their elaborate costumes, fierce masks, and ritualistic performances are not just for show; they are a serious undertaking meant to safeguard the community from malevolent forces. This practice is deeply rooted in Taiwanese folk religion and is a staple of temple festivals and parades. The Eight Generals are revered as divine guardians, each with a unique identity and role in the pantheon, and their performances are believed to ward off evil spirits.
However, the presence of a young foreign woman in the attire of the Bajiajiang in my photo speaks volumes about the cultural progression and inclusivity that Taiwan is experiencing. It shows a break from the past, where only men, and certainly not children or foreigners, would participate in such roles. This change is a testament to the dynamic nature of culture and how it adapts over time, embracing diversity and new interpretations while still honoring traditional values.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
7 comments posted

Alan Lichtenstein   Alan Lichtenstein
Pamela, your image is sharp and has bold colors. Being a fan bold colors, I was immediately drawn to your image. The painted lines on the faces of the processions closest by are very sharp with no blurring of the lines on the faces. You did create the image in a vertical format, but since this was a procession, wouldn't a horizontal format have enabled you to get more of the procession in your image? Also, doing that would have reduced the blurring of the distant building and tree, but that could have been fixed with a higher aperture. You didn't give your settings. But the picture does indeed tell a story and it does convey the story in your description. Good image. I like it.   Posted: 06/03/2024 15:48:02
Pamela Liu   Pamela Liu
Here is the setting: Gear: Canon R5/EF 24-240mm. F5.6 1/1600, ISO 5000 Raining Day.

Alan, I was using a travel lens and F5.6 is the limit. It was created with vertical to avoid the cars and other side of the street. Here is the closeup of the girl.   Posted: 06/04/2024 03:45:01
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Alan Lichtenstein   Alan Lichtenstein
Pamela, It's unfortunate that we are bound by the limits of the equipment we have at the time. Given that, I will revise my comments, as you did the best you could with what you had and created a clear, sharp and well-composed image with no distractions. It's very colorful and that, IMV is a draw to your image.   Posted: 06/04/2024 06:02:49

Dr. Isaac Vaisman   Dr. Isaac Vaisman
Pam, I know nothing about this culture. I need to do some reading. The image is sharp and the colors are very vivid. It is unfortunate that you had to amputate the girl in the front. I tend to agree with Alan that a land scape orientation would have given us more information, or perhaps a square crop to avoid distracting elements. It is what it is when we create images on the sreet.   Posted: 06/04/2024 09:55:09

Vinaya Mathews   Vinaya Mathews
Good colourful candid shot of the procession. I think, seeing the foreigner as a General, the story in your head ( mentioned by you in description) got formed & so the total concentration was on that general.

As others suggested, even I would have preferred to see the photo in horizontal orientation, with the first general full & some more elements of the procession. Of course, I agree, in street photography, so many factors affect our decision of composition, & that must be with you too.   Posted: 06/05/2024 01:03:36

Tom Tauber   Tom Tauber
Pamela, when you have lemons you make lemonade. I like the photograph very much, together with you interesting explanation, because it's a culture that i had never heard of. I think Taiwan is a really interesting country; maybe I cans till get there one day. You could be bold and crop it as shown.   Posted: 06/10/2024 16:20:17
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Pamela Liu   Pamela Liu
Tom, thanks a lot, this is a better cropping. Do visit Taiwan.   Posted: 06/18/2024 00:44:49