In the 1970s when Hiroshi Sugimoto chose to set up his camera in a darkened, deserted theater and replay a movie, he allowed the camera to gaze on the images like a person’s eyes. He opened the aperture wide, fully exposing the film. The movie rolled in front of the camera, and Sugimoto only closed the shutter when the movie had ended. When finally developed, the photo revealed a screen filled with white light – attesting that a camera can merely document, but only people can have memories. The human memory is all-encompassing, yet it only exists on a stream of consciousness, out of reach, unable to be shared. Only through the vehicle of photography – tangible, visible and still – can we save a fleeting slice of time and space.
The inspiration for “Faint Light, Dark Shadows” arises from a certain reality that forms in photographic images through the interweaving of light and shadow, brightness and darkness, and through the sense of concealment they often achieve. This encompasses not only space, but also the dimension of time. This exhibition centers on the human condition, not only considering sensation of and exposure to light, but also redirecting our attention to darkness and the human depth it possesses.
The exhibition’s content centers on a dialectic between Taiwanese documentary photography in the late 20th century and the immediacy of photography in the digital age. In the 1970s through the 1990s, documentary photography was motivated by a sense of conscience and a fully sympathetic orientation, striving to clearly and precisely convey reality to the viewer through a series of images, and thus allow the viewer to correctly recognize and understand the events being photographed. Conversely, today the ubiquitous presence of news photography, published instantly every day, gives it a dominating character and a monopoly on evidence. And in the current age of self media, everyone has a camera at hand, taking pictures, uploading them, even doing live broadcasts with greater convenience and speed than ever before.
Ho Ching-tai, Li Yuan-chia, Lee Chia-Yu, Lee Kuo-min, Shen Chao-liang, Lin Bor-liang, Chiu Kuo- chun, Chin Cheng-tsai, Hou I-ting, Lulu Shur-tzy Hou, Hou Peng-hui, Hung Cheng-ren, Chang Chien-chi, Simon Chang, Chen I-hsuen, Chen Yan-cheng, Liu Chen-hsiang, Pan Hsiao-hsia
Special Section: Shadows of History
Curator : Sharleen YU
Special Section Planner : Liu Chen-hsiang