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Matjaž Tančič went to Yi County, Anhui Province in 2012 for the first time. He took portraits for over 20 peasants in their living rooms by 3D photo technology. This is way Tančič took two pictures in each villager’s home. One is the clock on the table, and another is the people sitting in the hall. Because there was a clock in almost every family, he called the series “Timekeeper”.
As a refraction of the tearing, the chime clock in Huizhou house was a symbol of modernization, and now is placed in the center of traditional living space. The decoration of the hall is strictly restricted by Confucianism, ethic and social institutions. The wall in the center is used for hanging ancestors’ pictures. When the offspring prays before the pictures they will fell the strong and solemn sense of purpose. Regardless of the time, generations can coexist in the space created by etiquette, forming a life chain in which time goes endlessly. The modern linear time represented by the chime clock has come to nothing. Televisions, DVDs appear as new symbols of modern life. However, the clock still exists in people’s superstition in the good meaning of “All life is smooth and quiet”.
Tančič went to Yi County again in 2014; he walked into around 50 families in Yi County’s villages. In the residents’ private living spaces, he shot their furnishings, and let them face to the lens in their own halls. These faces ravaged by farm work or changed by outward travels, together with their houses and used goods, help Tančič to change the abstract time into a visible pictures, sniffable breath, and tangible hand feeling. They are bodies rolled by modernized car wheels. Though living in remote villages, they also have connections with the crowded cities. The cereals they grow, the labor force they provide, and their homes which may be demolished one day, accomplish the country’s progress. These neglected subjects are revealed in Tančič’s photographs.
Timekeepers ／ 時間紀錄者｜by Matjaž Tančič｜Size: 160 x 240 x 30mm｜72 pages, Hardcover｜First Edition: 400｜Published by Jiazazhi｜May 2015