Taipei, June 20 (CNA)
Photographer Adam Ferguson, whose portrait of Taiwanese president hopeful Tsai Ing-wen made the cover of TIME magazine's Asia edition but drew mixed reactions in Taiwan, has found the local response to his photo interesting and asked netizens to provide more of their thoughts.
Ferguson said on his Facebook page that he appreciated different opinions of his work after it drew some criticism on the Internet, mostly accusing him of making the 58-year-old Tsai look older than she is.
"I actually think the image is quite stoic in nature and depicts Tsai Ing-wen in a positive way," Ferguson said Friday, in response to one of his admirers who shared feedback from Taiwanese netizens on his page.
Many of Tsai's supporters and some local media said the portrait made Tsai "look old" and as though she "has poor skin."
"Did they have to use this picture?" said one Taiwanese netizen, while another said: "It looks like a horror movie poster."
Others, however, were appreciative of Ferguson's artistic point of view. One said the shot was "a profile full of wisdom."
While Ferguson said he was open to criticism and different readings of the photograph, he said "(Tsai's) picture is ultimately a political portrait and I have deliberately not pandered to a visual language that accentuates youth" because "our daily lives are already saturated with imagery like this through fashion."
Ferguson also showed a good sense of humor, even in the face of a photo-montage comparing his shot of Tsai to the Star Wars character Yoda.
"My intent was for (Tsai's picture) to be a strong character driven portrait that speaks about aspiration more than beauty," according to Ferguson.
"PS. If only Master Yoda was at the helm of a few countries!" he said.
Tsai of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is the heavy favorite to win next year's presidential election and described herself as the "next president of Taiwan" in the TIME magazine article on her.
Her main competition in the race will most likely be another woman, Hung Hsiu-chu of the Kuomintang, who currently serves as the deputy speaker of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan. Tsai made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2012.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
Taipei, June 20 (CNA)