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Photographer | Liu Chen-hsiang

  • Date:2017-10-12
Photographer | Liu Chen-hsiang

  • Chinese Name: 劉振祥
  • Born: 1963
  • Birthplace: Taipei City (Northern Taiwan)
  • Did You Know That …?
  • When Liu was 23, he was hired as the film still photographer for director Hou Hsiao-hsien's (侯孝賢) "Dust in the Wind (戀戀風塵)” as well as Edward Yang's (楊德昌) "Terrorizers (恐怖份子).”

Liu Chen-hsiang is a notable fine arts photographer best known for his long-term collaboration with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. He also works as a reportage photographer who documents Taiwan's social movements and protesters through snapshots. Liu's contributions to art and news reporting have garnered him the Wu San-lien Award in the photography category.

Liu started developing an interest in photography after taking lessons from veteran photographer Hsieh Chun-te (謝春德) as an art student at Fu-Hsin Arts and Trade School. While studying, Liu also served as Hsieh's assistant for two years, which helped him gain a wealth of knowledge and techniques.

After serving in the army, Liu first began his career as a reportage photographer with China Times in 1986. The next year, Liu joined the Independent Post, where he documented Taiwan's transition to democracy before and after the lifting of martial law through photographic works.

During his six years with the Independent, Liu not only reported major social movements such as the 520 Farmers Movement, the February 28 Incident, and the Wild Lily student movement, but also captured the scenes of lesser-known incidents in the 1980s. His works provided a voice for these protesters.

In addition to photojournalism, Liu has been photographing performances by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre since 1987. For more than two decades, Liu captured the troupe on and behind the stage and documented the history of Taiwan's first modern performing group through vibrant and vivid imagery.

With a career spanning over three decades, Liu's works have been featured at exhibitions in New York, Paris, Taipei, and Tokyo. He has also published several works, including "Taiwan Photography Files,” "In Between the Moments - Cloud Gate: in a photographer's memory,” and "Family Album.”

When it comes to cinematic photography, Liu is able to capture the scenes from a fresh perspective, highlighting not only the actors but also merging them well with the setting. He has worked with director Chung Mong-hong (鍾孟宏) on the 2008 feature "Parking (停車),” 2010 drama "The Fourth Portrait (第四張畫),” and 2010 suspense thriller "Soul (失魂).”

As a freelance photographer now, Liu encourages both young and aspiring photographers to cultivate their own aesthetics by learning more about literature, fine arts, and film, participate in competitions, and engage in photography group discussions to learn from actual hands-on practice.