The Taipei Fine Arts Museum has opened a major exhibition of the work of award-winning Taiwanese photographer Chang Chao-Tang, who has chronicled the changes in his country over the past six decades.

Time: The Images of Chang Chao-Tang presents more than 400 pieces from 1959 to 2013. These include prints, previously unreleased portraits, and images taken from digital cameras and mobile phones, as well as eight documentaries and television programs.

Chang began taking pictures as a teenager and his early work reflects concerns about the difficult situation in Taiwan under martial law. As a college student, he became interested in Western ideas, like existentialism. “I was more likely to make a bold attempt at subversive or unruly works that resulted from my own arrangement of a picture instead of trying to depict reality objectively,” says Chang.

In the late 1960’s, he became a TV cameraman and later edited and produced documentaries, which made him move “to a form of sheer realism.” He says he tried to renew his focus “on exploring the fundamental aspects of images as a way of recording and conveying social facts”.

It is Chang’s first comprehensive retrospective solo exhibition and it will run until December 29.

In this video, Chang Chao-Tang talked about the concept of his work during an interview at the Taipei Biennial 2012.


*Cover image: Chang Chao-tang – Pingtung, Taiwan, 1979 (Photo Courtesy of Chang Chao-tang)