Time: The Images of Chang Chao-Tang, 1959-2013

“Wherever you go, you’re at the scene.” As a high school student, Chang Chao-Tang picked up his camera and began to shoot, and he has not stopped since. His images reveal transcendence amidst the commonplace, intimacy amidst alienation, humor amidst the absurd. They reflect the photographer’s acute observations and earnest understanding, his substantial concern and empathy. His career spanning more than 50 years has encompassed photography, television programs, documentary films and dramas. His works not only feel the pulse of his age, but are also far-reaching witnesses to history. He is the recipient of several major awards, including the Golden Bell (1976), the National Award for Arts (1999) and the National Cultural Award (2011). He has curated exhibitions and taught courses on photography and film. He has organized, edited and written books on Taiwanese photographers and photography. With unflagging dedication he has worked to pass on, build up and promote the legacy of both still photography and motion pictures, guiding the less experienced, making considerable contributions and casting a long shadow in his field.

Chang’s first comprehensive retrospective solo exhibition, Time: The Images of Chang Chao-Tang presents over 400 works of photography from 1959 to today (including contact prints, a series of previously unreleased portraits, and a set of images taken from digital cameras and cell phones), as well as eight documentaries and television episodes. It also features two “exhibitions within an exhibition,” replicating two highly experimental installations from the 1960s which he released as part of the exhibitions Modern Poetry and Painting and Formless. Also presented are a number of original photographic works, drawings, scribblings, notes and collages; articles, books and other documents on Taiwanese photographers which he edited; and photography exhibition posters... Together they comprise a complete picture of Chang Chao-Tang’s aesthetic and achievements in image art, documenting the position he occupies relative to both his predecessors and his successors, and his important contributions to the development of Taiwanese photography and film.

The chronological order and content of the exhibited works have been grouped into six major themes: Images of Youth, 1959-1961; Existential Voices, 1962-1965; Installations, Scribblings and Original Works, 1966-1986; Social Memory / Inner Landscapes, 1970-2005; Digital Quest, 2005-2013; and Faces in Time, 1962-2013.


Curator: Sharleen YU

Artist: Chang Chao-Tang