2017年7月5日 星期三

Magang Village (馬崗村)

Our third stop of the day is a small fishing village most of whose youngsters have moved to seek their fortunes in Taipei. It's at the eastern-most tip of Taiwan. It's the Magang Fisherman Village (馬崗漁村)


 Many of the old houses in the village are now deserted and left in ruins

Those that remain are left unoccupied. One can picture left over fish, squids, mussels and sea weeds were once sunned on this huge deck supported by these strong sturdy wooden legs.

Some steps to help the occupants of the house to look over the fence probably because there are no windows in the stone hut opening out to the seaward side on account of gusts of the strong winds and pelting rains during the typhoon season.

For the frugal fishermen, old planks are too valuable to be thrown away.

a window opening towards the small courtyard.

Nothing is wasted in a small village. Even tiny bits of spare rope are hung on the wall. You never know when it'll be needed.

One could get a tiny glimpse of the Santiago Light Tower some distance away above the village. 

The occupants of the house may be gone, but not these small daisies.

The village shores are protected by these angular pentagonal blocks

A gentle slope skirts the outer edge of the village

A few boats probably belonging to the coast guards posted on duty at the guard house on the building at the left of the photo. It's got 4 antennae on its roof. 

This is the inner harbour,  well protected from battering billows by strong sea walls.

A boat secured to a pummel 

Rows and rows such beds once produced the delicious small 9-hole abalones.

Probably because of competition from giant mass production operations from the mainland and elsewhere, it's no longer considered as profitable as before to justify continuing the cultivation of the abalones here and such abalone beds are now largely abandoned. But the stocks find it a most suitable spot for taking a break from searching for food further out in the open seas.

But some may feel that it may be too wasteful not to make some use of these existing facilities. Something is always better than nothing at all!

So they continue to grow the small abalones under these bricks placed at the bottom of the wave pool to provide a suitable anchor for these tender and tasty seafood delight.

 A closer look at the rocks and bricks at the bottom of the wave pools. Abalones need very fresh and clean water.

The countrywide electrification program has not neglected this tiny fishing village lying at the easternmost portion of Taiwan.

Another view of the abalone beds still in use. The straight concrete paths enable the fishermen to service and feed the abalones and to ward off natural predators.

algae collecting on the almost flat surface of the naturally formed rock beds

gentle waves bring in a constant supply of fresh sea water to keep the abalone breathing.

Some of the waves break before they reach abalone beds

How serene the inner harbor looks !

Boats on the other side of the inner harbor

Probably because of the risk of huge wave sweeping out the unwary during storms, the Coast Guard has posted a notice on the wall to the left of the photo threatening to prosecute anyone going beyond this point

But today, there's seems little danger from the sea. Nothing but gentle waves.

Looking back, we get a better view of the high sea wall protecting the village

Just before our guide was ready to take us to the next stop, we discovered this lively golden dragon on a red wall. 

An "concrete image" of the Chinese name of the place which literally means "horse hill"


At the entrance we found this strong bear-like horse whinny away on top of a weathered rock. Beneath it is a sleeping buddha in gold. The lower part of his body seems covered with leaves and lying under their real life equivalents. 


On the side and below it is what appears to be a laughing cat or tiger, ( the artist himself?)

This is the name of the artist corner

 To one side of the path, is this molded lying Buddha with a string of prayer beads on his left hand


The artist calls himself an "Ordinary Guy"

Above his name plate is this boat without a "sail" (帆)a word in Chinese which is a homonym to his name "凡夫"! Is he hinting that he adopts his name as a kind of self-deflating or inflating irony"?  In Chinese Buddhism, the Mahayana school is called "大乘" and the Hinayana"小乘" . In Sanskrit, word "maha" means "big" and the word "hina" means "small" and the word "yana" means a "ship" or a "vessel". If so, is he suggesting that the kind of Buddhism he practices is that of a small vessel ("小乘"). Is the concrete image of the "boat without a sail" an ironic play on the contrast between the "pictorial" and the "literal"? Is he suggesting that what he "really" wishes to picture to himself "as" is that in his own peculiar way, he imagines himself as anything but ordinary or 不凡? Or that he is a fish with a pair of eyes in the "vital green" surroundings of Buddhism and not a "blind fish" like the ordinary guy, whose mind and whose life is saturated with "lack of light" (無明) or ignorance of the 4 noble Buddhist truths (四聖諦) of dukka (苦), samudaya (集) nirodha (滅)  and magga (道) and thus is constantly wallowing in suffering in endless cycles of samsara (輪迴)? Is he then suggesting that he has been "enlightened" by Buddhism and hence is now living the kind of life he does, away from the hustle and bustle, the struggles and incessant schemings for more wealth, status, power, worldly fame or simply for more material possessions of the "ordinary" guy ,in a quiet and serene corner of the world, where he can live simply and do whatever it is that it  pleases him to do?

His boat in the form of a fish with a pair of big eyes, its head pointing in the direction of the West, where according to traditional Buddhist teaching is where the "World of Ultimate Joy" (西方極樂世界) lies.

The court yard is filled with carved stone statues. This one looks strong but serene.

A laughing woman

This one looks a bit sad.

This long-bearded sage seems to have seen through all 

This one seems to grimace under an invisible weight on his shoulders.

In front of the Artist's workshop is this Mermaid. 


A female Buddha with her tongue sticking out. What is she trying to say with this expression?

This is one of his sages

A totem pole with a laughing figure

Mother and child

 Two plates, one a naked woman worshipping a smiling moon and another looking at the stars


A bird 

The artist tries out a new style

A golden Buddha

A more recent composition making use of twigs covered with cement: a dog clinging to his bone, which appears to him as big as himself?

The artist's own version of the Dhamma Wheel: it says: turning into Ma Jang, looking at the mountain and viewing the sea"

Another laughing figure lining the path to the courtyard

A laughing Buddha wit, beanth it, what appears to be a representation of the artist himself in the form of a roly poly

What appears to be another recent creation in front of the artist's residence

The mascot at the entrance of the artist's residence

A parting look at this image of "Horse Hill" !

and its wave-cut platform