Sat, Oct 20, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Shen Chao-liang’s photo exhibit ‘Illusion Reality’ on display
幻影現實 沈昭良攝影展

Shen Chao-liang, right, accepts an award at the 36th Golden Tripod Awards for Publications in Taipei on July 13.
沈昭良(右)七月十三日於台北舉辦的金鼎獎頒獎典禮上領獎。

Photo: Hu Shun-hsiang, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者胡舜翔

In recent years, photographer Shen Chao-liang has won numerous awards for his photography. Since 2005 he has been working on a photography project about Taiwanese vaudeville troupes, which has been turned into a three-part series — Stage, Singer and Stage and Taiwanese Vaudeville Troupes — for a photography exhibition. Stage, a series of works depicting the mobile stages used by performance troupes, is the main subject matter that has earned Shen international acclaim.

Since applying last year, Shen was granted approval to hold an individual exhibit of his works at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM), with his Taiwanese vaudeville troupe series as the central theme. The exhibit is the most complete collection of his work on the topic since devoting himself to the project in 2005. A total of 88 works are currently on display, along with the first-ever photography video installation to be on display at the museum. A reading area has also been set up as part of the exhibit, allowing people to flip through published collections of the artist’s work, local and international exhibition catalogues as well as articles about Shen.

The exhibit begins with the Stage series of large stand alone prints of the stages, decorated and painted with designs. The main display consists of pictures of the stages arranged in a totem-like setting. Shen has intentionally photographed the stages without audiences or performers present, giving them a surrealistic appearance on the streets, in front of temples, and inside factories. At the end of the display there is a short two-and-a-half minute video that combines all of the mobile stage photos into a rapid succession without sounds and crowds. Aside from the mobile stages, there is also a visual contrast made between singers and mobile stages on display, providing a realistic portrayal of the popular mobile stages and the Taiwanese performance troupes using them.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. vaudeville n.

歌舞雜耍表演 (ge1 wu3 za2 shua3 biao2 yan3)

例: The cinema dealt a heavy blow to vaudeville in the early 20th century.

(電影在二十世紀初,沉重打擊歌舞雜耍表演。)

2. acclaim n.

讚譽 (zan4 yu4)

例: The new discovery earned her acclaim in the cell biology community.

(新的發現讓她在細胞生物學界贏得讚譽。)

3. realistic adj.

現實的;實際的 (xian4 shi2 de5; shi2 ji4 de5)

例: The plan is not bulletproof but at least it is realistic.

(這個計畫雖不算無懈可擊,但至少很實際。)


Vaudeville troupes have been a common part of Taiwanese culture since at least the 1970s, when they reached their peak, usually appearing at weddings, funerals, and other special occasions. Originally, tents were set up for performances, but eventually they started using “electric flower cars” (diesel trucks refashioned with a stage, special lighting and a sound system), and have more recently begun using diesel trucks with hydraulic engines. The trucks are prepared for each performance, with screens coming down, allowing them to be transformed into elaborate stages.

As popular culture has changed, the popularity of Taiwanese vaudeville troupes has diminished. As a professional photographer, Shen has spent a lot of time on his long and arduous journey, gradually creating an impressive visual record of this once vibrant part of Taiwan’s entertainment industry. Somewhere between boisterousness and quiet scenes, modernity and tradition, and an illusory sort of reality, Shen has managed to capture and portray a very significant aspect of Taiwanese society. “Illusion Reality: The Photo Exhibition of Shen Chao-liang” will be on display in Gallery E at TFAM until Nov. 25.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

近年屢屢於國際獲獎的攝影家沈昭良,自二00五年展開台灣綜藝團的拍攝計畫,並陸續發展出《舞台車》、《歌手與舞台車》以及《台灣綜藝團》等三系列攝影作品,《舞台車》也成為沈昭良最受國際關注的拍攝主題。

去年沈昭良透過申請機制獲選在台北市立美術館推出個展,即以台灣綜藝團系列為展出主題,而這也可算是沈昭良近年投入該議題攝影創作以來,最完整的一次展出,共計展出八十八件作品與一部首次於北美館播放的錄像影片,同時於現場設置閱讀區,提供觀眾翻閱藝術家歷年攝影集、國內外主要展出目錄以及專題報導等。

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