Endangered Species

These paintings were done beginning in 1981, becoming a conscious series five years later, in 1986. The first, "Tien Mou Old House," was done from the roof of the 5-story apartment building I lived in in the Tien Mou suburb of Taipei. It was meant to show the old farmhouse, with its sprawling wings the record of familial additions hemmed in now by the tall cement structures occupying what had been rice fields surrounding the farmhouse, rice fields apportioned off to the descendants. The two children playing in the courtyard transported me to the past.

You are the th guest in this wing.

This pretty little place started it all; I saw it every time I took a taxi home, and wondered how long it would be there. I made a special trip to photograph it and was really pleased with the result. John -- Dr. Scholl -- set in motion the series of these farmhouses -- after some initial resistance on my part ("...but I can't repeat a painting just because more than one person wants it!"). It turned into one of my most satisfying series, "Endangered Species," a recording of Taipei's hemmed in farmhouses before they disappeared, a recording of farmhouses outside of town....

This house and the next were from Father Up's "Five Views" Run, and on it I got five farmhouses (one of which I believe he now owns). These places you get to on foot, or by motorbike. Peitou is the Sulfur Bath center; Tamsui is the old northern port -- a treasure of brick buildings -- and these houses are between the two, on the northwest point of the island.

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