Photographer shares back story of shoot with digital minister

Photo courtesy of Audrey Tang

TAIPEI (CNA) — Photographer Kaii Chiang (江凱維) on Monday shared his experience in photographing Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), who has worked on digital tools to make face masks more easily available during the COVID-19 epidemic.

In an interview with CNA, Chiang said he wanted to arrange a photo shoot with Tang, who is Taiwan’s minister responsible for digital technology, because of her contributions to Taiwan during the pandemic.

“It seemed like a way of repaying my gratitude,” Chiang said.

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when surgical masks could only be bought at pharmacies and people had to wait in long lines to get them, Tang helped create a system to track where supplies were available.

She is credited with working with the National Health Insurance Administration to release the data and collaborating with engineers to making the information accessible to the public via an online platform.

She later helped coordinate work on a system that allows people to pre-order their quota of masks at convenience stores across the country.

According to Chiang, he expressed his wish to photograph Tang on Twitter in early March, which was then shared by a member of his team, who tagged Tang’s account in their post.

To Chiang’s surprise, Tang replied, saying she would be open to the photo shoot as long as the photos could be released under a Creative Commons (CC) license.

The shoot on April 17, which was completed in two hours, felt natural, Chiang said, and he was happy to have had the opportunity.

“I feel like I’ve unlocked an achievement,” he said.

In the photos, Tang is seen wearing designs by Japanese designer Issey Miyake and Taiwanese designer Justin Chou (周裕穎), the creator of the fashion label JUST IN XX.

Chou, who has collaborated with brands such as NIKE and Levi’s, said that Tang’s interpretation of his outfit deserved high marks, because she made the outfit fully her own and showcased her fearlessness.