The ethnographic photographs of Taiwan aborigines by the Meiji anthropologist Torii Ryuzo enhance our understanding not only of the native culture but also the colonial maker himself. Against the backdrop of Japan's colonization of Taiwan, this photographic record reveals the particular features of the aboriginal culture in which Torii was interested, the way he captured and portrayed his subjects, as well as possible motivations behind his work. More than just scientific evidence, these pictures are 'social artifacts' that expose as much about the historical, political, and personal agenda of their creator at the turn of the twentieth century as they do of Taiwan aboriginal vestiges.
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