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Taiwanese photographer to join Arles summer exhibition

  • Date:2020-07-03~2020-09-05
Taiwanese photographer to join Arles summer exhibition

Taiwan photographer Wu Cheng-chang (吳政璋) will be featured by the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for Documentary Photography & Film's annual summer exhibition in Arles, France this July.

Born in Pingtung in 1965, Wu graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2000. He is currently teaching at the Taichung-based Ling-Tung University's Department of Visual Communication Design. He worked as a photojournalist and photographer at Business Weekly, Taiwan Daily News, Brother Pro-Baseball Magazine, and Formosa Plastics Group.

He has won many awards including the 2014 Observer's Award and Excellent Work Award in New Media of Kaohsiung Awards and the 2009 Honorable Mention Award of Taipei Arts Awards.

He has been invited to exhibit his works at the 2018 London Design Biennale, University Art Museum at Tokyo University of the Arts, Gwangju Museum of Art in Korea, 2012 Singapore International Photography Festival, 2012 Hong Kong International Art Fair, 2010 3rd Novosibirsk International Festival of Contemporary Photography and 2010 Taiwan Biennial.

To be shown in Arles this July, Wu's "Vision of Taiwan" series of images expresses personal observations, experiences and opinions concerning the environment of Taiwan. "Photography" has been a means for the artist to find emotional relief despite the strenuous photographing process, which encompassed Wu standing inside a space and photographing himself with long exposure by flashing his face with multiple flashes using a handheld flashlight.

The intense flashes enable the releasing of emotions, and the photosensitive materials accumulate light and allow "over exposure" to be produced in an "out of control" manner, causing temporary "blindness" or "lost of sight" in human faces, insinuating the absurdity and conflicts that exist in the environment.

Behind the seemingly image of a beautiful scenery are absurd objects and environmental crises. A "human figure billboard" faces the public indifferently without any facial expression. Existing environmental dangers seem to have lost recognition in the "real world," therefore one can only "look without seeing" when facing current situations in such surroundings.

Wu's series offers a "documentary photography" vantage of recognizing the relations between humans and the environment and the"surrealism" aspects of calm criticism. Although it does show a certain level of disappointment and pessimism toward the current state of Taiwan's environment, it still reflects expectations of "lifelong reforms."

"Vision of Taiwan" will be on display in Arles from July 3 through Sept. 5 as part of the Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation’s summer 2020 exhibition, themed "The Pioneers." More information is available at