3 Jan 2013

Link Between Past and Present in Tian Taiquan Photography

I want to improve my photographic skills so I am reading about it. Currently I am reading GoingPro and the authors suggest that five ways to get people to connect to a photograph is to listen to your audience, take chances, be provocative, be authentic and make photographs that cause people to be curious. (p. 85, GoingPro by Scott Bourne and Skip Cohen)

They also suggest the aspiring photographer check out webinars and podcasts.

So what did this girl do?

I searched for photographers who pushes the viewer out of their comfort zone. I wanted to view photos that I will never take because they are not my style.

But, recently while searching, I found the work by Tian Taiquan. 676-raw-totem_recollection_paper_4


His work is provocative and political. Two words that, as aspiring portraiture photographer, I would never consider getting inspiration from. However, this time I posed to observe because, as the fifth point in the GoingPro book suggests, Tiaquan’s photographers stop me in my track. They force me question his political views and what does the Chinese public think of his work.

Tian Tiaquan’s complex, constructed images use China’s Cultural Revolution as a departure point to explore, and reflect on, “the most severe setback and heaviest losses suffered by the party, the state and the people since the founding of the Peoples Republic of China ”

…His images tell stories of suffering, confusion, and darkness, using fictional images that express the truth of the Cultural Revolution without describing it historically (gibsonejessop.com)

Yes, Tian Taiquan was born in Chongqing, China. He draws his inspiration from China’s rich culture and history and pushes the viewer out of their comfort zone.

I like this self portrait… tiantaiquan

… because it tells his photographic aim, exploring the link  between past and present to bring attention to the issues of present day Chinese society.

I am glad I considered Tiaquan’s work because they made me realise that, no matter the type of photography I want to work at, the link between past and present of the subject should never be apart; because as history taught me, we “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” ~Albert Einstein

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