Born in Taichung in 1949, Hsieh Chun-te gave up school during his first year at the National Sha-Lu Industrial Vocational Senior High School. He started to work as a steel factory apprentice, an advertisement company apprentice, and a bicycle-keeper in a post office. In 1967, the 18-year-old young man left his hometown for Taipei city, where he overcame the obstacles all by himself and began his wonderful life as a photographer. In 1969, Hsieh Chun-te held his first photography exhibition “Midnight” at Seikosha Gallery in Taipei. In 1970, he participated in “The Group Exhibition of Nine Contemporary Photographers.” He soon made himself famous in photographers’ society in Taipei when he was under 20 years old. Later, as an active photographer, he joined the Group Visual-10, worked as an employed photographer for a magazine, helped to make experiment and documentary films, edited a photography magazine, and etc.
In addition to his own photographic works, Hsieh Chun-te has a quite far-reaching career as a photographer. In the mid-1970s, he started taking photos for the fashion industry, music albums, posters, advertisements, and TV commercials. He also worked with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Lan-Lin Theater, Ya-yin Ensemble and many other performing art groups in their photographic projects and helped taking stage photos. During the 1980s, he started taking photos for film productions and posters. He even joined the “Non-Party Election Movement” by assisting the electoral advertising program. During the 1990s, he started taking photos for music videos. His other work experiences include stage design, interior design, and digital darkroom techniques research. In 2011, Hsieh Chun-te was invited to exhibit at the 54th Venice Biennial Taiwan Pavilion, while his works received much attention from the European media and museums.
Faces of an Era captures the images of any artists, writers, scholars, and theatre, television and film actors who have greatly contributed to the development of art and culture in Taiwan. Ever picture seems to tell a story that reflects the changing times, and each of these pictures run a time span of more than a decade. This is a creation made through a long time.
Hsieh Chun-te arrived in Taipei in the late 1960s, and it was about the time when modernism permeated the art society in Taiwan. It was unavoidable for the artist to become obsessed with such a modernist way of thinking which was filled with nihility, absurdity, and uncertainty. Therefore, he started to explore the visual expressions of backlight, off-focus, and abnormal compositions, as well as the experimental techniques which were beyond realistic visual experiences. He was soon well-known for the novel and yet bizaare emotions visualized in the works. However, after a series of simulations and experiments on Modernism, Hsieh started to reconsider the essence of photography and how it mattered to him.
In 1974, long before the trend of documentary photography began in the 1980s, Hsieh Chun-te started to promote the project “To Document the Homeland Taiwan.” He collaborated with a group of journalists, writers, and photographers to document the people and the landscape in Taiwan. Such a reflective transition was the result of Hsieh Chun-te’s strong self-awareness about photography, which allowed him to maintain a flowing conversation with the contemporary trend and to go beyond the trend. Since then, Hsieh Chun-te has worked on several long-term projects – which last for more than ten years or even twenty years – such as “Land &People of My Own,” “Faces of Time,” and many others. In his works, the freeze-frame of the moment is combined with the variations of time, offering a different perspective to discuss the essence and the documentary quality of images.
|English title：||Faces of an Era|
|Medium / Classification：||Photography|
|Dimensions：||60×50 cm×20 pieces|
|Collection Unit：||Collection of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts|
|Contact method for authorization：||
Guide to the Use of Image Files and Data from the Online Collection Database
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1941-1950|