Chris van Laak
documentary photography
home ∨
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
1/17     In Chinese 和平 (Heping) means peace. It is a common name for places in Taiwan.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
2/17      Heping is a village situated just a few kilometers south of Taipei, at the bank of the Xindian River.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
3/17      Heping, as it is in 2017, was built in 1962. The community of an older village was shifted here after a typhoon and a flood devasted their homes which lay closer to the river.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
4/17      Since then the city has grown significantly and has gotten closer and closer to the village. Today, New Taipei City surrounds Heping on all sides.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
5/17      Nowadays, human settlements in Taiwan are well protected from nature, from typhoons and floods.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
6/17      Amidst the modern city, the village is a piece of Taiwan's history. The origin of the community lay in south central Taiwan and it has moved at least two times. Later, a significant number of Chinese army man, POWs from the Korean War in the 1950s, also found a new home in Heping.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
7/17      While the community is ageing, Heping is situated in the focus area of some high level urban development projects.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
8/17      The number of inhabitants in total, and even more the number of original inhabitants is dwindling...

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
9/17      ...but in 2017, Heping is still a vital community.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
8/17      Young members of the community are rare. A boy is visiting his grandparents.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
11/17     The village is aware of its destiny and does what it can to persist. Village-mayor Wu Zhen Hui and his wife spend the morning at their home inside the village.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
12/17      Heping, as it is unique in its location amidst the city, represents a not to uncommon kind of village in Taiwan. For sure not exactly ahead of its time, not exactly left behind, it is a piece of an old Taiwan.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
13/17      Despite all efforts, in a few years from now, Heping will cease to exist as it is. While the ground underneath its feet is still publicly owned, its value for the real estate industry is enormous.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
14/17      The population will disperse into the modern cityscape, as they will have to leave their homes and make way for development. They will be granted compensation high enough to satisfy most of them.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
15/17      What attracts me about Heping is that it simultaneously offers a glimpse at Taiwan's present, past and future. As for someone who arrived in this country only in 2016, and calls Taiwan home now, time can be experienced out of time here, and decades of Taiwanese history are present in the very moment.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
16/17      In Heping time is running fast...

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos
THE VILLAGE AND THE CITY
17/17      …but sometimes time almost seems to be standing still. While meandering into the future, Heping takes it slow.

since Mar 2017   All Photos
since Mar 2017   All Photos