Land of the Human Beings

Orchid Island

2018 / August

Chuang Kung-ju /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju

The ocean around Orchid Island is as clear as glass, as mysterious as a rock hidden in the depths. The air carries the primitive taste of salt, and the island’s aloof personality attracts countless people of a maritime bent to come and visit.

It is one of the hardest to reach of Taiwan’s offshore islands, and the culture of the Tao indigenous inhabitants has allowed its natural scenery to be preserved. Be it a towering cliffside cave, or dead trees with their strangely shaped trunks and branches, all coexist peacefully with this Aboriginal people and their oceanic culture.

During my time on Orchid Island, I felt the slowness of time and the insignificance of humankind. Perhaps this is the reason that Orchid Island, which battles on amid the surging waves of the Ku­ro­shio Current, is also called the “Land of the Human Beings.”

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