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Image Imaginings

photographs, text, viewing apparatuses, 2016

“Many of the places I visited when I was young, he captured in film. It’s almost as if I see my own figure in his photos. That’s why I feel a rush of emotion when looking at his pictures. It is as if when I was a youth someone I never met was in love with me. This is the role photographs play that is different from other art forms.”


– Huang Han-di, “The Whole Story,” Interviews with Chang Tsai

Our lives are filled with multitudes of images, constantly in flux. With the widespread use of computer software, photos have replaced written communication. On social media networks, the same photograph may take on different meanings, depending on the words that accompany it. Social media sites have become a new kind of forum and exhibition space, where images are discussed and displayed. We constantly experience the exchange of ever-changing, fleeting visuals. The process of encoding and decoding symbols within images has become ever more complex.



Photographs seem to rationally document and observe. But what they reference is realness, not reality itself. Because of the special automatic, mechanical nature of cameras, there exists within photography the illusion of “transparency.” We tend to rely on what our eyes see, and naturally assume that the actual scene conforms to the way things appear in photos. And yet every photograph is a message without a code. That is, because every photo has been mechanically produced in a camera, the relationship between reality and photographs may be analogous, but despite superficially appearing to objectively simulate and reproduce reality, the signs within images are juxtaposed and polysemous. They may contain a multifaceted semiological system of language, culture, and symbols. Each viewer will interpret a photograph according to their own mental and emotional state, and may even go beyond the content that the photographer originally intended to convey.



The composition of each photograph is the creative processing that the photographer applies to reality, harboring within it a complexity of choices, perspectives and consciousnesses. This exhibition features eight artists from different disciplines, who have interpreted and sequenced 12 photographic artworks from the museum’s collection, using the written word. Taking photos as their source material, they have written brief sketches from scattered, fragmentary images, laying distinct coordinates for the museum’s collected works.


Ting Tong Chang, A Hundrum Afternoon

Chih Yi Wen, A Walk into the Past

Somanana Rain, Intersection

Jun Qiang Niu, On Air

Yu Liu, Five Fathers

Kehsin Chang, Photographer of the Sinh Park

Chia Hsin Pan, The Woman Ghost 

Yunglin Wang, Untitled


image processing/

Kuan Yen Lin

Tzu Han Hsu



Yin Hua Chu 


Dance with the Museum Collection – Retrieved, Reimagined, Restated

Taipei Fine Arts Museum

Date | 2016/05/28 - 2016/10/02

Venue | Gallery 3A&3B



© 2016 YinHua Chu

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