As I meander or swim, I chase the light along the coastline. The sun penetrates the fog and my skin but it can’t shine through the hazy bay water.

I find shells left by hermit crabs and watch the seagulls take off again and again as kids approach. 

The atmospheric river brings rain from the Philippines. It makes the river between Rodeo Lagoon and the Pacific resurface through the sand.

I tell a kid how to find starfish, then he tells his friends how to find one.

A fire on the beach burns off all the Christmas trees, a modern spiritual ceremony. We have been staring at fire since the stone age. 

The wind carries a pungent smell, I follow the odor and walk along the shore. 

From afar, I see a park ranger skinning a bone as tall as his torso.

“Are these whale bones?”

“Yes, this is part of the chest. We’re standing by its heart.”

The tide cycle continues, the kelps start to grow back again. 


Planting roots in California, Shao-Feng Hsu continues his visual research of the coastline in Coastal Access II. He explores local aquatic areas; moving through physical surroundings informs his creative process. Many things happen on the coastline simultaneously: Birds migrate, coastal spiders adapt, purple urchins devour kelp forests, sea anemones drip down at the lowest tide, a curious boy leans into the frame, a fire burns. The focal point of Hsu's inspiration is the Pacific Ocean - the body of water that connects his new home to his homeland of Taiwan. To improve his asthma he swam competitively, and later went on to serve in the ROC (Taiwan) military base by the beach, resulting in his long and intimate relationship with water.


44 pages / 38 B&W images / 6x9 inch / Saddle Stitch Booklet

The zines were available on 

Using Format