With this photo project (just as in life), you never know who you are going to meet next. I mean, sure, you know they’re a cafe-owner or a designer or an artist or a photographer, but often you have absolutely no idea what kind of a person they are going to turn out to be.
When I first met Maygo – and by this I mean the first few seconds of me encountering her for the first time in my life – I was taken aback by her uniqueness. I can’t really describe how unique she is – you might have to meet her and have a conversation with her in order to fully understand what I mean.
Before running Megane, Maygo was one of the co-owners of Zabu, a popular cafe/bar in Taipei. Zabu had a great cult following and was my favorite haunt in the city. When I realized she was the one who had started the place, I became even more entranced by her. So we talked. For three whole hours. In the coldness and wetness of November’s Taipei, while sipping a cup of hot tea that never seemed to lose its heat.
After our conversation – during which we talked about our cultural differences, things and people we like, etc – I took up my camera and looked through it, this time realizing that I was not looking at a place but at a person. Maygo had said that she runs the place alone. She is used to working alone. The cafe employs other staff, of course, but all the big decisions are made by her alone. As I photographed the lights, the flooring, the utensils, the food, the books, and finally the people who fill up her cafe, I began to see Maygo reflected in all of them.
And I thought to myself, how wonderful it must be, to have a place that is a perfect mirror of yourself. You must never feel alone then.