1994 Qi Gong in Taiwan

Qi Gong ready to communicate with gods

Qi Gong ready to communicate with gods

One of the most amazing thing I had discovered in Taiwan is how the population celebrate the great number of temple everywhere in the country.

By Franc Péret (shot on slide film)

There is so many unexpected presents to the different divinities such as karaoke parties, puppet theater play, Taiwan opera performance, outdoor film projection and even topless dancers show! Out of all of this, The most impressive one to me is still the Qi Gong ceremonial.

Qi Gong’s Make Up are designed to frighten ghosts and bad spirits.
Qi Gong warming up in front of the temple

Qi Gong are a group of Taoist disciple specially trained to endure any kind of torment without fear of apparent pain, such as beating their back or head with harsh weapons, forcing long needle through their skin or cutting their tongue with huge knifes.

Self-chopping under assistance

Local people dedicated to certain temple hire them as a gift to the gods, and the demonstration in front of the crowd is a proof of the protection of the gods in this area as Qi Gong are able to accomplish their bloody demonstration without any complain or sign of pain.

Qi Gong with their weapons, dancing before the beating

They all have an assistant to spit alcohol on their wound and to wake them up when they are going too far in their beating, too close to death.
Do not open the picture gallery if you are too sensitive to the vision of blood.

By damaging their body without a sound, Qi Gong demonstrates their communication with gods

There is a lot here and to tell the truth, I was so busy during the shooting to think about my position, my composition and my camera setting that I was not really thinking about what I was recording. I only felt sick the first time I reviewed my pictures (slides).

All those shots had be taken in Chiyai, a small town not far from Taichung.

Franc Peret is teaching Essential Photography Classes, Advanced Photography Workshop and Film Making Classes in Shanghai

Taking a rest before the ceremony
Weapons carrier with kids help
Weapons carrier ceremonial
Qi Gong dancing in front of temple
Qi Gong opening the way through the public
Huge crowd surrounding Qi Gong
Make Up to frighten ghosts and bad spirits
Qi Gong on hard back beating
Qi Gong cutting his tongue
Qi Gong supported by his assistant holding a bottle of pure alcohol
Needle through the face
Assistant throwing alcohol on the wound
Close-up of the main character