100,000 sheets of aerial photographic films, 500,000 digital images, and nearly 1,000 hours of aerial filming footage comprise the body of work by Chi Po-lin, for which he invested twenty-five years of his life and more than 2,500 flight hours to amass in order to speak up for the earth and the environment. Through this precious body of work, we witness the changes of Taiwan’s landscape, as well as that of its cultural and ecological environment.
Director Chi departed from this world in a hurry, leaving behind vastly unsorted yet extremely valuable images that await to be seen by more people, who care about the earth and their homeland. However, traditional photographic films are difficult to preserve, and the colors gradually fade as time flows. To preserve the fruit of the director’s painstaking labor of his whole life, the establishment of a digital archive is the only and best solution. Furthermore, through such an image database could the value of Chi’s images be maximized.
However, building a digital archive is a herculean effort, which requires a lot of resources and funding. Outsourcing high-resolution scanning of one single film alone costs NT$ 700 to 800, let alone the complicated and elaborate processes of archive construction, which include selecting and sorting out images, classification and filing, post-digitization processing, confirming locations and keywords, construction and maintenance of image database, etc.
The Chi Po-lin Foundation has started from scratch and created a suitable archive project after two years of exploration and overcoming various challenges. Currently, our staff working on the digital archive project and professional volunteers are racing with time to gradually build up the digital archive and audio-visual database. With the digital archive project, we can permanently preserve Director Chi’s irreplaceable image works, and hope to further expand the application effects in the fields of environmental education, academic research, exhibition initiative, and cross-disciplinary collaboration.