Tian Taiquan graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 1988. He is currently a resident artist at Tank Loft, Chongqing Contemporary Art Centre.
Chongqing born photo-artist, Tian Taiquan has created a series of stunning, haunting, and emotionally charged works that he calls “Revolutionary Pictures.” These photographs take the backdrop of the Red Guard cemetery in Chongqing to illustrate various dichotomies. Through superimposition, the use of collages and digital manipulation, Tian Taiquan raises many questions through twinning and juxtaposition – Memory & Loss; Death & Sex; Belief & Incarnation; Sacrifice & Injustice. Within his lens, the burial ground becomes a fundamental site for the exploration of these issues.
In these photographs, even though the graveyard is a site of important historical significance, the names of the deceased Chongqing residents have been long since forgotten. This place has become a site of much evil and darkness, full of sinister gloom. In truth, Tian Taiquan has cleverly made use of this grave site to resurrect the context of history. Here, official history books have been made unofficial, the solemn and grave have been rewritten as forlorn and bleak. From another point of view, the logic behind these rewritings can be defied, death has been inversed and is now has sexual allure, skeletons are now flesh and blood. But, what Tian Taiquan truly wants to portray is not the cemetery, but the ghosts and spirits, or more specifically, female ghosts. By juxtaposing the green uniform of the Red Guard with tantalizing glimpses of lush white female flesh in a decrepit setting of the graveyard, it akin to likening ghosts with sexual fantasy thrown into this dark world of ours.
These photographic works have constructed, for these fiery and passionate revolutionaries, a looking glass in Hades, and has created for us a revolution narrative version of the erotic stories of “Liao Zhai.”