I walked down the quiet back alley as I searched for that infamous “hidden door”. Twenty minutes to noon. It is a good thing I left the hotel a bit earlier this morning. Krystal had warned that the restaurant will be difficult to find. I approached a security guard who sat outside of a rundown building and asked in broken mandarin —
“Excuse me, where is the Xiang Se restaurant?”
He nodded towards a wooden door that was partially hidden from sight. There was no signage, and high white walls kept the interiors fenced from all outside curiosity. The building simply looked like an old apartment. I quickly gave him my thanks and entered Xiang Se — where Krystal had made reservations for our lunch date.
I was seated in the courtyard dining area. The choice of restaurant was as expected of a professional photographer; the design of its interior was a visual feast. Stained wooden tables complimented natural cracks in the whitewashed walls. The decor was tastefully rustic and beautifully minimal.
Just as water and a small floral arrangement was brought to our table, Krystal walked in. She is a friend of mine whom I met in New York, where she studied Photography and Imaging at NYU. She has always had a unique way of expression, attempting to mix different medium in her works. It has been years since we last met.
“I like to portray truthful feelings through layers and layers of visions,” Krystal explained, “as after all, life is much more than what we see in front of us.”
I was mesmerised by the way contrasting colours merged as one — every piece was visually exciting, yet soothing. Despite a plethora of shades and tones, her work had a sense of subtle simplicity and peace. We savoured the beautifully presented food on our table as we looked through her photos on the phone .
The Wanderlust series marked the beginning of her digital double exposure journey. I can’t wait to see what works she will showcase the next time I return to Taiwan.
For more information on Krystal's work, please visit her website at krystallinphotography.com.