A cura di
Art Primitive Gallery presenta Rich Matheson 4 Angoli della terra Fotografie
Art Primitive Gallery
Is pleased to present
Four Corners Of The Earth.
11 January - 7 February 2018
The result of a careful selection to the language, themes and background of each of the photographers research of distant and uncontacted tribes.
The exhibition will be held in the The bookstore Mulino dei libri
via Mazzini 34 Sarzana La Spezia Italy
Curator Marco Abbagnara
Web site www.artprimitivegallery.com
E mail email@example.com
Rich is a professional photographer and writer whose work has appeared in dozens of international publications including Asian Geographic Passport, Outside, Monocle, CNN Traveler, Action Asia, The Washington Post, South China Morning Post, the Guardian and also co-authored the Michelin Green Guide for Taiwan.
Canadian born, Rich has been living in Taiwan for the past 25 years and has an intimate knowledge of local culture that can only come with years of experiences.
He has land in the mountains of Kaohsiung and a house in Tainan City where he still lives in wonder with his Bunun (Taiwanese Indigenous tribe) wife and two children.
Folk religion exerts an inexorable and fundamental force on the local life, institutions, politics and the art of Taiwan and has done for hundreds of years. Where many folk arts in the modern world are relegated to museums and stage performances Taiwan’s thriving local faith is a phenomenon worth celebration and introspection. Folk religion’s ability to mobilise performers, whole communities and captivate huge audiences for long periods of time gives it great power to influence people and communities and has consequences of heritage preservation as well as bringing people and communities together. The myriad of traditional arts that spring from folk religion are varied and interesting and furthermore folk religion subtly, or not, affects and projects onto modernity and modern art throughout Taiwan.
A fundamental part of this religion are the lively temple festivals, most of which are centered around processions where deities are borne through villages followed by devotees and mobile performance troupes.
These performance troupes, called yizhen, provide protection, perform important religious rituals and entertain. These yizhen are also a means for the transmission of beliefs, promotion of spirituality, and the strengthening of community structures and have taken on new forms to adapt to changing times and circumstances over the years.
There are many traditional folk cultures worldwide but rarely are they so well attended with devoted followers, possess such deep historical richness or are as artistically developed as Taiwan's -- yet these yizhen troupes are relatively unknown outside of Taiwan.
These photographs focus on a local religious performance troupe based out of Jishan Tang (a small temple) in Tainan Xigang District. This type f performance troupe is called 'Bajiajiang' which roughly translates as eight family generals. Jishan Tang Bajiajiang don’t have a long history as a troupe compared to other troupes in the area but they do have a strong historic lineage that demonstrates well the ability of folk art to draw on the past and preserve intangible historical heritage. In comparison to many other jiajiang troupes around the island they are very traditional. An auxiliary power of folk art is its resistance to change, an adherence to tradition keeps it constant and it becomes a window to the past, a piece of living breathing Taiwan history that is nonetheless rooted firmly in the modern technologically advanced world. The changes that do occur are deliberate and gradual and one could argue this keeps the art pure with only the best ideas being incorporated making it a thoroughly refined art. With their extreme dedication and devotion to their craft and years of perfecting it has evolved into an exquisite performance art.
Bajiajiang can be likened to underworld policemen, they communities from evil spirits and at specific times during the year they make their rounds around communities and round up demons. They also perform exorcisms in local houses and on local people.
I shoot with a Nikon D810 and my lens of choice is a 50mm f1.4. I'm currently using Sigma