As the name suggests, the Wilds of Yonghe focuses on the green strip located on the outskirts of Yonghe. This district of New Taipei city is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Prior to its inclusion in the larger city, it was considered its own city, and its population density put it in the top two or three most crowded city’s on Earth. When people talk about Yonghe, it’s typically the crowded living conditions and often old, grimy buildings that are first mentioned.
The northern border of the district where its separated from Taipei proper, is marked by the Danshui River. Every year or so, a typhoon will come through that causes the river to burst its banks and flood the surrounding land. And that creates the wilds of Yonghe. This narrow riverside strip cannot be built upon due to the flood risk, and so it becomes one of the few leisure areas for the people of the district. If you are out in these fields and gardens, you can forget you’re in one of the most densely crowded places on the planet. The natural world greets you, and that’s used to full advantage with market gardens, dog parks, bicycle paths, running tracks, baseball fields, and wide open spaces. People fish, people grow food, people exercise and people play.
This is the Wilds of Yonghe. Finding a piece of nature on the edge of a crowded, busy city. The photographs are a mix of planned and posed images alongside candid, found shots. Minimal processing to give a better idea of what the environment actually looks like in its most common light.
NB There’s more text after the gallery thumbnails.
Wilds of Yonghe will be an ongoing project, and you’re welcome to follow along with in on Instagram.
This project was born out of a desire to shoot more for myself. It’s easy as a working photographer to spend all my time shooting to please other people while missing the essence of why I became a photographer in the first place. X Equals, who I’ve collaborated with for a number of years, have just published an article on the importance of personal work. Are You Forgetting About Yourself. Head over and check it out.