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Top Taiwan photographer Ko Si-chi passes away at 90

Ko traveled around world, fascinated by dance

Ko Si-chi in 2006 with his photo of the Longshan Temple in Lugang, Changhua County 

Ko Si-chi in 2006 with his photo of the Longshan Temple in Lugang, Changhua County  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — One of the top photographers in Taiwan, Ko Si-chi (柯錫杰), passed away in his hometown of Tainan on Friday (June 5) at the age of 90.

Ko received his first camera at the age of 19, setting him on the path to become the country's foremost photographer, CNA reported. During his teenage years, he witnessed the loss of his well-to-do family's fortune, the death of his mother, and the destruction of his family home during bombing raids by the United States Air Force on the Japanese-held island.

After the war, Ko spent time in jail for deserting from the army. He studied photography in Japan and applied his new-found knowledge in Kaohsiung. In the 1960s, he moved to the United States, where he continued to specialize in photographing dancers, according to a report in Taiwan Today.

However, commercial photography did not satisfy him, so he found his mission in life was to travel around the world and take pictures in order to let his compatriots in Taiwan see what the outside world was like, reports said. At the time, Taiwan was still relatively poor and isolated, and most people did not have the opportunity to travel overseas.

When that changed, Ko reportedly also adapted his work to show the beauty of Taiwan to outsiders. Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City named a photography hall after him.

The photographer had been ill for some time, moving into hospital for the final period of his life until he died Friday evening of old age, a friend told CNA.

Updated : 2022-05-28 20:48 GMT+08:00