An exhibition featuring photographs of dramatic social and political changes in Taiwan from 1986 to 1990 will be held at the Taipei Cultural Center in New York from Aug. 29 through Oct. 12.
As part of an event series commemorating Taiwan's third decade free of martial law, the photography exhibition will help viewers learn about the marital-law era (1949-1987) and provoke thoughts on contemporary photography aesthetics.
Valuable photographs and films captured by artists Liu Chen-hsiang (劉振祥), Huang Tzu-ming (黃子明), and Hsu Po-hsin (許伯鑫) as well as photography collective Green Team (綠色小組) will offer insights into issues such as human rights, politics, social movements, and environmental protection.
Stemming from the 1980s, "political photography” demonstrated the value of humanism and social justice, and enhanced the aesthetic quality and influence of social movements with different forms of presentation.
In coordination with Tangwai (non-ruling party) magazines, political photography focused on political events and rallies and sought to take a critical stance toward the government. Together they realized the possibilities for Taiwanese photography to effect political reform through denouncing state-sponsored violence with vivid visual vocabulary.
In addition to documenting incidents, photographs also served as witness for the purpose of governance and law. The ones in power use documentary photographs to impose public authority while the oppressed ones use them to call for justice and change.
The exhibition will screen negative film rolls through a lamphouse to simulate the photographic reel-based news broadcast before the emergence of the digital age. Large black-and-white photographs will also be displayed alongside to present how photographers expressed their views and messages by controlling the contrast, focus, granularity, and exposure.
Curated by Sharleen Yu (余思穎) and featured artist Liu, the New York exhibition is part of the "Faint Light, Dark Shadows” exhibition held at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum earlier this March.
‘History's Shadows and Light'