01 Tsun-shing Chen,The Residual Chair and the Sea,silver print with aluminum frames + acrylic, 1973

Tsun-shing Chen was the founder of Flâneur Culture Lab (Press), asone of the key motivators to introduce French literature, philosophy and psychoanalysis and film theory into the Chinese-speaking world. He is the chief producer of “The Inspired Island” series documentary, and served as the director of the two films including “Port of Mists – Zheng Chouyu” and “The Coming of Tulku – Zhou Mengdie”, which made a great splash.

“The Youth Holds a Candle to Illuminate the Latecomer” is quoted from “Shaoyi” in the Book Rites. The youth holds a candle standing in the dark night to wait for the unknown strangers, in order to lead the way for the latecomers, indicating position, instead of name. The youth who is on the road does not have the power to speak, instead of a teacher he is the juvenile who is enlightened and taught.

The exhibition presents more than 80 photographs taken by Tsun-shing Chen when he traveled in Taiwan 40 years ago. The young artist took photo of Taiwan in Luzhou, Taipei Station, Danshui, Moungar …The travel map at that time and the locations, the characters in the images were all the objects for the artist to look on at that time, for forty years, they have been keeping silent, and never been developed. He also deliberately makes them experience the challenge of time, to create the present photos.

“Looking on” is the ethical relation between Tsun-shing Chen and the subject, it also becomes the “pray” because of waiting for over 40 years, the “pray” that is towards the darkness responds to the endless questions by the artist over the 40 years. Hope and requests for these images to show body, in order to clarify “photography” and “looking on”; As a prayer, it is the writing of “Shaoyi” in the Book Rites/ the interpretation of how to immerse oneself in the photos/images – in the process of the viewer’s life, in the thinking andchoices; how does the curator invite the scholars who live in seclusion for many years to participate? By using the self as the subject to build a symbiosis “scene” between today’s audience (you and me) and the prayer in the present noisy art circles and the intellectuals?

About the artist

Tsun-shing Chen gained a Ph.D. in Linguistics at EHESS in France,the founder of Flâneur Culture Lab, associate professor at Tsinghua University in Taiwan, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer), France in 2012. Documentaries include“The Immigrations”, “Ah Kun”, “ZhengZaidong”, “Yao Yiwei’s Oral History”, in addition to serving as the chief producer of the literary documentary film series entitled “The Inspired Island”, he served as the director of the“Port of Mists – Zheng Chouyu” and “The Coming of Tulku – Zhou Mengdie”. He has published papers on the terms of image, and the unique ideas and discussions often cause scholars to repeat sincere thoughts warmly. His works were presented in the group photographic exhibition at Guangzhou Museum of Art (the 3rd Guangzhou International Photography Biennale) in 2009, a solo exhibition of photography entitled “Luzhou Life Adrift Figure” was held in Taipei in 1975.

The key monographs include “The Melancholy File”, “Hot Silver”, “The Wood and the Night, Which One is Longer”, “Morality Can’t Be Recalled”, as well as hosting the translation of “An Introductory Dictionary”, the answer of the 5 questions of RuanYizhong’s “Seven Questions of Photography Aesthetics”,“The Testimony and Files: On the Kaohsiung Incident –Record of Images” of “The Documents on the Taiwan Nations and the Country in the 21st Century”, “The Upsurge of Taiwan” of “The True Memories of Yang Zhaojia”, etc.

Chen learnt from French film theory master Christian Metz and cultivates the long term in the field of philosophy, psychoanalysis, and image theory, meanwhile he is a writer, photographer, art critic scholar and film creator, and is also a thinker that bravely responds to the Citizens Movement, using the philosophical basis to interpret the modern faces of Taiwan.

About the exhibition

Duration: March 25 – April 26, 2015

Host: CAFA Art Museum, Flâneur Culture Lab

Art Director: Wang Huangsheng

Director of Exhibition: Cai Meng

The Photographer/Prayer: Tsun-shing Chen

Curator: Liu Xiao/Weng Zhenqi

Assistant Curator: Huang Bihe

Promotion: Li Yuhua

Exhibition Hall: Gallery A, Floor 2, CAFA Art Museum

Courtesy of the artist and CAFA Art Museum, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA Art Museum

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