Performing groups in the form of cabarets, song and dance ensembles have been making regular appearances in all sorts of occasions — weddings, funerals and festivities — around Taiwan since the 1970s. Stage trucks, the subject of this photo series, are the mobile carriers exploited by these performing groups, subtly making their way into the collective memory of the Taiwanese. In order to create a dreamy and other worldly ambience of the stage trucks with their colourful totems and lights diffused into the surroundings, all the pictures were shot at sunset. There is an emphasis on the presence of the trucks, their existence in the plebeian society, as a strong contrast against reality, that is indescribable and beyond words. The images seek to break away from the visual expression and form of the traditional documentary approach by trending towards a new-angled contemporary mode that seamlessly integrates environmental portraits, visual grouping and category construction. This collection is selected from the STAGE series shot between 2006 and 2011.
About the Artist
Shen Chao-Liang (Taiwan, b.1968) born in Tainan, Taiwan, is a freelance photographer and photography lecturer based in Taiwan. He obtained his master’s degree from the Graduate School of the Applied Media Arts, National Taiwan University of Arts. He has won numerous awards including the Golden Tripod Award of Best Photography (magazine category) of R.O.C (Taiwan) in 2000, 2002 and 2012, the Asia Award in Sagamihara, Japan (2004), the Best Foreign Photographer Award at the Dong-gang Photography Festival, Korea (2006), Honourable Mention of 2010 Taipei Art Award (2010), and the Artists Wanted: Photography Category Award Winner, New York (2011). His major publications include STAGE, Tsukiji Fish Market, YULAN Magnolia Flower, and Reflections of Nan-Fang-Ao.