Curators Liu Chen-hsiang and Sharleen Yu gave an walkthrough of the exhibition History’s Shadows and Light at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York. The exhibition featured photographs of major political and social movements in Taiwan from 1986 to 1990—a time when photography not only bore witness to society’s dramatic transformation immediately before and after the end of martial law in 1987, but also began to expand the expressive possibilities of contemporary art.
LIU Chen-hsiang 劉振祥(b. 1963, Taipei, Taiwan) joined the China Times Weekly in 1986, before becoming a photographer of the Independent (Zili) Newspaper Group in 1988. During his seven years with the Independent, he documented the street protests before and after the lifting of martial law with photography and left behind many historical images of Taiwan’s transition to democracy. Apart from photojournalism, Liu has worked closely with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, the first modern dance group of its kind in Taiwan and Asia, since 1987. He has taken still photos for Hou Hsiao-hsiang’s Dust in the Wind, Edward Yang’s Terrorizers and all feature films by Chung Mong-hong. In 2010, he received the Wu San Lien Award in the category of photography. He has published photography books such as Taiwan Photography (2000) and In Between the Moments: Cloud Gate in a Photographer’s Memory (2009).
Sharleen YU 余思穎 (b. 1970, Taipei, Taiwan) is the chief curator of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum since 2017. She curated exhibitions such as Faint Light, Dark Shadows (2017), Declarations/ Documentations: Taipei Biennial 1996-2014 (2016), True Illusion, Illusory Truth: Contemporary Art Beyond Ordinary Experience (2013), Time: The Images of Chang Chao-Tang, 1959-2013 (2013); Time Games: Contemporary Appropriations of the Past (2012), and coordinate Eye of the Times – Centennial Images of Taiwan (2011), Image Map: Chang Tsai Retrospective Photography Exhibition (2010). She was also the executive editor of Modern Art quarterly magazine (2014-2015).
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.