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Histories and Writings Issue
Since its inception, Voices of Photography has always focused on the aspects of image writing, history and cultural forms. In 2019, we held a series of workshops on photography history narratives and a forum on history of post-war East Asian photography, at the Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab in Taipei, Taiwan. We invited researchers in this field to join us, creating the opportunity to advance discussions on photography history research and awareness of imagery history. This issue features the manuscripts of our speakers at the event, which will serve as a reflection and reference for the photography and historical discourse in the eyes of our counterparts in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Among them, Kaneko Ryuchi has redefined the position of independent photography galleries in the development of Japanese photography in the 1970s, revealing the creative pulses that transcended the mainstream and why it became an important chapter in the history of Japanese photography, waiting to be filled. Chen Chia-Chi takes a look at the trend of Taiwanese amateur photographers participating in photography contests in Japan in the 1960s, and the possible influence that Japanese photography magazines had on the culture of photo competition, thereby shedding light on an alternative platform through which folk exchanges happened between the Taiwanese and Japanese photography fields. Park Pyungjong details the controversy between realism and modernism in Korean photography following the end of colonial rule by the Japanese, and evaluates the dialectics and reflections surrounding Korea’s understanding of photography after the war. Toda Masako analyzes Japanese photography in the 1950s, the era of Japanese photographic aesthetics that was influenced by the trend of “subjectivism” in the international arena as the oppression of war gradually faded in time. Through archives and political consciousness buried deep in the core of the Taiwanese society since the Cold War era, Chang Shih-Lun examines the manipulation and governance mechanism of images, and issues with the construction and interpretation of the nationality in photography history.
When analyzed in combination with other disciplines such as optics, chemistry, political sociology, cultural studies, and even semiotics and psychoanalysis, the space for exploration of the ontology of photography is constantly stretched, moved, and reconstructed. Hsieh Pei-Chun analyzes the photographic writing process and the cross-domain visual theory since the last century while outlining the development of photography theories. This issue is the first in a series of discussions. Gu Zheng shares his own experience as a visiting professor on photography history at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, where he put forward a critical reflection on the boundaries of research in the field of photography history. Edwin K. Lai's analysis of the series of historical inferences from when photography first came to Hong Kong comes to an end, presenting historical evidence of the rise of the “wet-plate method” in Hong Kong in the 1850s.
In addition, we have a special interview with Cheng Tsun-Shing, featuring never-before-published photographs and negatives that he had taken in the late 1970s. We explore the imagery metaphors that are born when silver salt and light meet, and the issue of the essence of photography that he constantly philosophizes. At the same time, we feature Kao Chung-Li’s new works of sound and projection installations, analyzing the ready-made audio-visual equipment and the technical philosophy behind the unique one-take "projector movie", that is also the longest ever such film in history. The "Photobook Making Case Study" series also enters the "Design" chapter. In this issue, we interview Japanese designer Mori Daishiro and he shares his experiences in the area of graphic design.
Although the journey of publication is difficult, we have been striving to continue with the basics of data exploration, collation, and interviews with limited resources, as we slowly expand the photography culture and historical discourses of Taiwan and Asia and showcase them to the world. We would like to thank all our dear readers and friends for your utmost support. Let us continue to explore the unknown universe of images in the new year.
Voices of Photography 攝影之聲 Issue 27｜Softcover｜19 X 25.5 cm｜Language: Chinese (w/ English introduction)｜Published by 影言社｜2019