在這份專號裡，除了回看張照堂跨時代的經典與近期創作，並收錄由藝評家阮慶岳、顧錚與郭力昕執筆的評介專文，以及張照堂與攝影家蕭永盛、學者王雅倫和本刊主編李威儀的長篇對談 ; 同時並以鉛字版復刻上世紀六○年代張照堂發表的劇本文字，和藝術家黃華成當年寫張照堂的嗆辣短文 ; 更首度完整曝光張照堂的札記本，蒐集他自七○年代起書寫的歲月私語與塗鴉。
Everyone is looking for a direction — people in journals, people in images, people in real life. Everyone is constantly seeking a direction, getting lost in their journey in life and then finding a path along the way.
— Chang Chao-Tang
The suppressed-and-pale-and-bored-and-infuriated Chang Chao-Tang is still moving along this path of seeking, being lost and finding new direction again.
Since embarking onto his artistic pursuits in photography in the late 1950s, Chang has greatly contributed and influenced the Taiwanese photography scene with his boundless creativity, unique perspectives and his inheritance of cultural paradigms. His work marks a significant turning point in the development of Taiwan’s modern photography and the publications and exhibitions that he edited and curated have influenced and inspired Taiwan’s photography scene, both in substance and ideology.
Chang, who just hit his seventies, has never given up on his dream of having many pairs of eyes; he tries to capture the mysteries of time’s passage though his photography in every conceivable way. In this issue, we respond to the questions he poses, and pay tribute to his photography.
This special issue was sold out soon after it went on the shelves in 2013, and we have been receiving enquiries about it being re-printed ever since. We hope that this decision to re-print would put enough in the market for all who wish to own a copy to grab one.
In this special issue, besides looking back at Chang Chao-Tang’s works that have spanned over five decades, VOP has invited critics Roan Ching-Yueh, Gu Zheng and Kuo Li-Hsin to comment on Chang’s work and contributions. We also engaged in an extensive dialogue with photographer Hsiao Yong-Seng, Professor Wang Ya-Lun, VOP editor-in-chief Lee Wei-I and Chang Chao-Tang himself. In addition we have recreated his play scripts and an essay on Chang by artist Huang Hua-Chen published during the 1960s, as well as Chang’s complete set of hand written manuscripts, reflecting his thoughts and feelings in the 1970s.
Together with this classic edition are a hand-drawn poster and a mini-photobook, SOUL OUT– a new series of images taken by Chang Chao-Tang using his mobile phone. It started with him accidentally switching to the HDR mode when using his iPhone to take a picture, which resulted in a moving object being captured in multiple continuous shots under different exposures, unexpectedly producing ghost-like images. The aboriginal people used to fear photography, for they fear that their souls would be captured on film, said Chang. He felt that the multiple images of a person being captured on the same picture using mobile phones nowadays could metaphorically represent the soul wanting to escape the body.
We would like to thank Mr. Chang for providing us with his works, journals, books and time. His boundless imagination and black humor often captivate us through conversations and when we read and sorted out his journals. We truly believe that he has the ability to enchant the audience with images that transcend reality even without using photographs as a medium.
“Do you believe in clouds?” He opined. “ The clouds do not believe in you.”