INTERNET CAFE! PANDA

Born in 1993, Taiwanese photographer Chih Hsien Chen‘s foray into photography began during university when he enrolled in a course on film photography, but his interest in the medium didn’t truly take off until he began documenting the peculiar people and strange encounters in his daily life. Released last year, his photo series INTERNET CAFE! PANDA offers a jarring and candid look at life inside a Taichung internet café.


生于 1993 年的台湾摄影家陈志贤,在大学期间就已经在学习摄影,但要说对摄影产生浓厚的兴趣,则要到他真正用镜头记录下了日常生活中的“奇人佚事”的那一刻起。去年他的摄影系列《网吧!熊猫》(INTERNET CAFE! PANDA)发布,也给我们提供了一窥某家台中网吧里真实生活的机会。

The series began shortly after Chen graduated college and moved to the city of Taichung in search of employment, but after going through a series of failed interviews, he was left feeling hopeless towards the future. One day, he stumbled across a job posting for a position at an internet café. It seemed like a good fit for him – the location was convenient to his apartment, the hours were ideal, and it gave him the freedom to take on side projects in his spare time.


这个系列始于陈志贤大学毕业后搬到台中市找工作,通过在线门户网站求职的时候。他这段找工作的经历并不顺利,在面临了一系列失败的面试后,陈志贤对未来感到很绝望。直到有一天,陈志贤无意中看到了一条在网吧工作的招聘信息。这看上去似乎是个很适合他的岗位——地点方便,作息理想,还能给他在业余时间自己做项目的机会。

After he started working, Chen began to take an interest in the customers who frequented the café. His experience working there was quite different from his memories of visiting internet cafés during his youth – most of the customers were middle-aged or older, and a large number of them were vagrants. Students and younger customers would only visit during weekends or holidays when they weren’t in school.


开始工作后,陈志贤对这家网吧的“常客”很感兴趣。和自己年轻时去网吧玩的记忆相比,在网吧工作给他带来的感受实在大相径庭。在这里,大多数流连网吧的顾客,年纪都已逾中年,还有很多是流浪汉。而学生和年轻的顾客,只会在学校放假的时候才来,比如周末或假期。

Chen observed a shocking amount of questionable behavior during his time working at the café. Some customers would openly watch porn and leave it running on their screens even after they fell asleep. One customer would cover the café’s dirty headphones with toilet paper as a way to avoid direct skin contact with their ears. Others would even relieve themselves on the seats of the café, refusing to leave their computers to use the restroom. Chen’s photo series is a whimsical glimpse into Taiwanese internet café culture where adhering to social and moral norms seems to be optional.


在网吧工作期间,陈志贤也会看到很多“形迹可疑”的举动。比如有些顾客会公开地看色情片,甚至看到睡着了,但屏幕还亮着;有个人为了避免让网吧里的耳机直接接触皮肤,竟然会拿餐巾纸垫在听筒上。而还有的顾客,甚至能一直坐在网吧的座位上,一刻不离电脑,也不去上厕所。在台湾网吧里,坚持社会和道德规范似乎显得可有可无。而陈志贤的这个照片系列,正是在通过这个异想天开的机会,以瞥一眼现实。

Instagram@chihhsienchen
Flickr: ~/chihsienchen

 

Contributor: George Zhi Zhao


Instagram@chihhsienchen
Flickr: ~/chihsienchen

 

供稿人: George Zhi Zhao