Honorable Mention TOKYO-2017 Book / Documentary

Scooters in Taipei

  • Photographer
    Hsin-chan Chien

Scooter has been one of the most popular means of transportation for the ever busy city of Taipei, due to the scarcity of land, high density of population, Its convenience, and affordability. Taiwan has a population of 23 million, in which the scooter users are about 14 million. It means that out of every two people, one of them would be a scooter commuter. This density ranks the highest in the world, and Taipei tops all cities in Taiwan. Therefore, the streets in Taipei are always hustle-bustle and seemingly chaotic. Many first-time visitors of Taipei are astonished by the thousands of scooters on the streets. As scooter is a relatively economical way to commute, the majority of scooter-base commuters are from middle- and low-income families. The images of scooters on the streets of Taipei therefore depict the most down-to-earth daily life of Taipei citizens. There is no better way than looking closer at these images to learn how most people live in Taipei. Scooter is also my primary transportation in Taipei. therefore, this project truthfully represents my personal experience. It is noteworthy that this project was shot entirely with panoramic cameras. As a scooter commuter myself, I often see the fluid scenery through my helmet. The panoramic perspective may be the closest to present what I've seen behind my helmet, which is the unique part of this project.