Erenlai - Daniel Pagan Murphy (李大年)
Daniel Pagan Murphy (李大年)

Daniel Pagan Murphy (李大年)

Graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA Chinese-International Relations in 2009. He has been living in Taiwan ever since and has been working at eRenlai since 2011.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 17:18

The Taiwanese Experience: Adjusting to life on the other side of the world

In this video we talk to Roberto Villasante, a Spanish Christian living in Taiwan and learning Chinese, about his insights into Taiwanese culture, how it differs from the West, and what he misses most about home.

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 00:00

Ending on a High Note


To commemorate the ten years of eRenlai being published, we wanted to make a homage video to thank all the friends who have been involved in making this a great magazine during the past decade. With that in mind, no music seemed more appropriate to serve as soundtrack to that video than the classic Chinese song "Friends". We hope that you enjoy this video and that it can convey to you the way we have felt about making this magazine.


In addition, we have included an open letter by Jacques Duraud, the publisher, in which he reminisces about Renlai and thanks everyone involved. For the original Chinese of that article, please click here.

When you read this letter, it will be time for us to say goodbye. Goodbyes are difficult, since they signify the end of an era and tell of the separation to come. But after analyzing facts, we have come to this hard and inescapable conclusion: "Renlai" will be ceasing publication as of January 2014, thus signifying the end of our paper magazine.

Renlai began in January 2004. At that time, many people were pessimistic about the possibility of this magazine, even predicting that it would only last two or three years. The editors straightforwardly named the first issue "Unapologetically facing failure", highlighting their own unafraid determination. We have discussed ugliness and beauty, university education, building construction, songs and poetry, documentary photography, Austronesian culture, youth issues, the unfavorable situation of Chinese migrant workers, etc. In this way, with very limited resources, we have edited and spread one issue after another; from planning the cover issue, requesting drafts and editing interviews to finalizing the packaging and sending it out. One issue, two issues, three, four... right up to the current issue 110.

However, no matter how hard we worked, threats to the magazine's very existence never loomed far. Because of this, the special 100th anniversary edition of January 2013 was named "In troubled times, we more than ever need Renlai". With this issue we sought to ponder the past, to find affirmation of the value of Renlai's continued existence, and to adjust accordingly for the future. From the beginning we have never forgotten our original aspirations, since we cannot simply call ourselves Renlai (human flute) and not live up to the name; it needs to give rise to dialogue and discussion. In these ten years, we have received warm encouragement and clear responses from all of our readers. However, from beginning to end, the large piles of magazines gathering dust in warehouses and the low sales numbers have been a clear reminder that this magazine is still unknown to the majority of readers.

This harsh reality has forced us to make the decision to close the magazine. To all of us friends who have participated in Renlai, this has been an amazing adventure, but adventures always have an ending. When looking over issues one to one hundred, dear readers, we won't say that Renlai has set any brilliant records, or that it occupies any special position, but every page and word contained within it are a reminder of our hard work together, and when all is said and done they will remain an unforgettable memory.

Renlai, January 2004-December 2013

These are just a few short words recording the beginning and ending of this magazine, they are unable to cover all the small details of these ten years. A heartfelt thanks to all those people who have been there all the long, helping each other on- including readers, writers, or supporters- thank you for enriching this magazine and enriching us. Even if, from 2014 on, there won't be a thick copy of Renlai resting in your mailbox, and it's red title won't be seen in bookstores anymore, we still believe that the sound of Renlai will ring on. And one day, you might just remember that you once read a magazine called Renlai.


Tuesday, 12 November 2013 13:33

An Interview with Liz Hingley

Liz Hingley is a British photographer who holds a first class BA Honours in Photography from Brighton University. Her work has been recognized with many international awards, including the Prix Virginia in 2012. She is currently living in Shanghai and working on her new project in the city. On an interview with her over Skype, we discuss her experiences in Shanghai. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013 15:13

Sailing on the Blue Canoe

Setareki Ledua, whom we generally just called "Seta", is 22 years old and he is from Fiji. Between 2010 and 2013, he spent two years navigating on "Uto Ni Yalo" ("Heart of Spirit" in Fijian), one of the canoes from the Pacific Voyager fleet that roam throughout the Pacific ocean using traditional navigation methods. During June and July 2013, he was invited to Taiwan by the Taiwan Society for Pacific Studies for a 6-weeks workshop in order to share his knowlegde and his experience as the youngest Chief Officer ever on the Pacific Voyager fleet.

In this first interview, he had just arrived to Taipei and he shyly introduces himself and traditional canoe sailing:

Monday, 24 June 2013 15:16

The Evolution of Rituals

Rituals and celebrations have always been a source of fascination for me. Despite growing up in Spain, my brother and I were raised by atheist parents and didn't undergo many of the common rites of passage that Spanish children did. I remember fierce little arguments with my classmates at primary school who would claim I had no name, since I hadn't undergone baptism. In Spain, not being baptised and, later on, confirmed was quite unusual for a child. There are usually large parties and celebrations involved with confirmation and I distinctly remember my friends excitedly looking forward to the gifts and the food. Though I never really envied them as such, it did occasionally make me feel left out, because, as a child, who doesn't want to have parties and receive gifts?

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:04

Recapturing Memories: Social Protests as a Way for Taiwanese Youth to Reconnect with the Past

In this video, Charlie speaks of electronic music as the language of a new generation in Taiwan and its effect in social protests. He also points out how the youth in Taiwan are engaging in social activism in part to recapture a memory that has been made blank for a few decades as a result of its turbulent political history.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:01

The Demonstrative Power of the Carnival: Fun as a Form of Protest

Photo by 廖培恩

In this video, Zijie recounts his first encounter of anti-nuclear awareness during the Ho-Haiyang rock music festival. Being the founding member of the anti-nuclear group NoNukes active around 2010-2011, he also goes over past experiences of incorporating rock music and electronic music into social protests. In the end of the interview he gives an interesting observation on the function of social protests.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:00

Art and Social Activism: Mutually Beneficial?

In this interview, Betty Apple attempts to delineate the different modes of interaction between art and social activism. In the end of the interview she reflects on the tension between her identity as a modern, solitary individual and and the collectivism that is required in social activism.

Friday, 29 March 2013 13:44

The life of a Puerto Rican Jesuit in Taipei

Fernando Luis Barreto Mercado talks to us about his life and calling as a Jesuit, what it's like to be living in another country far away from home, and the hardest parts about not being in Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 14:41

The Merging of Diversity: Identity in Indonesia

Professor Bondan Kanumoyoso talks about Batavia, a center of commercial activity set up in 1619 by the Dutch East India Company in modern-day Jakarta, and how the melting pot of cultures it created still has lasting influences today.

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 13:47

Knocking on the door of Taiwan's entertainment industry

This is the first vlog in a series in which Daniel Pagan Murphy talks about his quest for Mandopop fame, in which he documents his experience singing on TV shows in Taiwan, as well as going over the highs and lows and offering some tips to people who aspire to break into the entertainment industry.

You can follow Daniel's progress on his facebook page:

On youtube:

Or on twitter:

Photo: Daniel (right) with fellow wannabe Mandopop star Justin (left) 

Monday, 31 December 2012 15:57

My journey of composition

Bust of Becquer. Photo by Ana Rey


¿Qué es poesía? -dices mientras clavas
en mi pupila tu pupila azul.
¿Qué es poesía? ¿Y tú me lo preguntas?
Poesía... eres tú.

These four simple lines are considered by many people to be some of the most famous and beautiful in the history of Spanish literature. Written by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, a Romantic poet of 19th century Spain, they roughly translate as:

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