Tears of Eros
‘Tears of Eros’ is an exhibition of the work of critically acclaimed Chinese photographer Tian Taiquan. The exhibition showcases a series of photographic installations from a collection of Tian’s past and present works. His self-described 'Revolutionary Pictures', provide provoking imagery and commentary of a lost but not forgotten time in Chinese history - the Cultural Revolution.
Tian tackles metaphysical issues of life and death poetically, yet skeptically through the use of photographic technology. Taking what is said to be the only preserved Red Guard cemetery in Chongqing as his setting, Tian\'s fictional reconstruction of historical environments establishes a tone of authority, telling the viewer that this is a factual image; this is the truth.
The graveyard where the red guards are laid to rest becomes a site of controversial historical authenticity less for the content it provides, and more forTian’s use of digital image manipulation. Tian's is a graveyard of neither the past nor present. What the artist aims to illustrate in his fictionalized iconography is not the cemetery, but rather the ghosts and spirits that inhabit it. Superimposed with images of female bodies, we are brought into a space where sex and death are blurred. By juxtaposing mutilated naked female bodies against an isolated and decrepit graveyard, the ghosts are likened to a dark yet arousing fantasy world of the artist.