Devoted as Lovebirds Through Their Brushes and Pens - An interview with the couple Liang-li Liu and Li-min Yin, co-authors of The Footfalls in the Verdant
With binoculars in hand, they watch birds on the treetops. With mini mics in hand, they vividly interpret for tourists. With medicine and gauze in hand, they take good care of injured birds. With their hands in each other’s for the rest of their life, they are the legendary couple in the national park.
Li-min Yin, an interpreter at Yushan National Park’s Tataka Station and full of vigor and with a sweet voice; Liang-li Liu, an assistant professor of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Kainan University and an organized person with a moderate manner and a good command of lame jokes. They are a couple with apparently different personalities, but share a common interest: ecological conservation.
Liang-li has been a volunteer interpreter at Yushan National Park since his college years. With a Bachelor degree and a Master degree in biology at NCKU and NTNU respectively, he furthered his pursuit of a Ph.D degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences in Texas. Busy as he always has been, he never stops being a volunteer for the nature, as he has cared about macaques and black-faced spoonbills. He was a senior colleague to Li-min in ecological conservation.
Li-min majored in history in college, but was strongly interested in ecological conservation. In the years when she worked as a journalist and frequently went into aboriginal tribes for interviews, she had been deeply moved by the simplicity of aboriginal cultures. Later she became a field research assistant for ecological study under Professor Ying Wang of NTNU, and has since walked into the domain of aboriginal cultures and ecological study. She met Liang-li back then, who was a graduate student advised by Professor Wang, but they didn’t know that Cupid had aimed his bow and arrows at them.
Afterwards, Li-min recommended herself for the position as an interpreter, and sent one resume to Yangmingshan National Park, which was quite close to where she lived, and the other to Yushan National Park, which she had never been to. In the end she headed for Yushan, and first served in its headquarters and then volunteered to transfer to Meishan Station, where she had stayed for seven years, until a recent transfer to Tataka Station. “Most people would beg to get transferred to the headquarters, but I am so talkative and especially so interested in interacting with tourists that outpost stations are where I belong,” she said with a hearty laugh
Li-min was like a bird flying high in the mountains, and Liang-li, who had joined the interpreting job regularly, was entirely attracted to the hospitable and radiant Li-min. With such disparity in personalities, the couple, however, is just made for each other. They represent a blend of activeness and quietness, and of toughness and tenderness, just like pebbles in the stream or clouds around the ridge, a perfect match under the nature’s hand.
They Draw Everything They Achieve Something Liang-li and Li-min make an impression on many people through the couple’s works. The insightful Yushan National Park Headquarters (YNPH) discovered the couple’s talents, and published a series of award-winning works.
One year senior to Li-min, Liang-li has been like a teacher that helps her learn and grow. Starting from their first book, The Footfalls in the Verdant Valley, the text has been written by Liang-li, who excels in logic, while the illustrations drawn by Li-min, who has keen perception of aesthetics.
upper: Li-min has been a mountain lover since she was a student, and has climbed numerous mountains. Photo taken at Mt. Jade Main Peak/ Provided by Liang-li Liu
lower: Li-min is despite the lack of formal education in arts, but she draws birds as vivid as life. Lift ro right: Picus canus , Pitta brachyuran and Yuhina brunneiceps / Drawn by Li-min Yin
Interviewer & Text ／Wan-ching Lai Translator／ Kuanyu Ou Photo provided by／Liang-li Liu