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Tami Xiang Exhibition in Taiwan: “Nüwa Reawakening” October 8, 2016

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online, Photojournalism Now, Tami Xiang , comments closed

Tami Xiang

Originally from China, photographic artist Tami Xiang now lives in Perth, Western Australia. Her series Nüwa Re-Awakening draws on the ancient legend of the Chinese Goddess Nüwa who was worshipped in a time when women were revered and powerful.“Nüwa was the person who created humans and she was worshipped by all people and held a very high position in ancient Chinese culture. Women were treasured and treated well and were considered higher than men. But that changed and in Nüwa Re-Awakening I’ve imposed my feelings to show my rebellion against the oppression that became part of Chinese culture and that lasted for centuries,” she says.This series was first exhibited at Head On Photo Festival in Sydney in 2014 where I met Tami. Since then she has been invited to showcase her series at other festivals and galleries in Asia. “Exhibiting at Head On gave me a great boost in confidence. I’m now working on new work and also organising exhibitions in my hometown of Chongqing”.

Tami Xiang

So far this year she’s curated three exhibitions featuring artists from all over the world. “We’ve done shows with sixty or more artists, so they are quite big and there’s a lot to organise”. She now splits her time between Chongqing and Perth.Currently a selection of images from Nüwa Re-Awakening is included in the Intimate Transgressions touring exhibition, which is a Center for Asian Pacific Affairs (CAPA) project curated by Fion Gunn from Ireland. The latest iteration of Intimate Transgressions opens in Taiwan next week under the guidance of local co-curator Leon Tsai.
While the subject matter of Nüwa Re-Awakening may be perceived as feminist, Tami is quick to refute that notion. “It’s not about feminism, but more about something that existed in history. I wanted to preserve that for future generations. I don’t want people to forget about how women were treated”.In Nüwa Re-Awakening Tami combines traditional Chinese masks with the naked female form to express her recognition of her culture’s art and her rebellion against male domination. She says the masks point to women being invisible in the culture and also in marriage; the mask in this instance is symbolic of arranged marriages where the woman doesn’t see or know the man she is to wed. Here the mask represents an uncertain future, as well as concealing the woman’s true nature.“I also chose to incorporate nude as one of the principle elements, as it symbolises the vulnerability and helplessness of females living in a society where control is paramount. The nude is also a taboo subject in ancient conservative China and so it is also symbolic of my rebellion and rejection of the feudal system of control. It’s a story of one woman, but also reveals the fate of many millions of women without freedom and rights in the ancient days,” she concludes.

Tami Xiang

20 October – 1 November
Intimate Transgressions
Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
Taipei, Taiwan

This article was originally published in Photojournalism Now by Alison Stieven-Taylor.

 (Australia). A freelance journalist for over 25 years, Alison Stieven-Taylor has written for a wide variety of magazines from music bible Rolling Stone to Pro Photo. She is currently the features writer for Pro Photo, the Oceanic correspondent for L’Oeil de la Photographie and also a contributor to The Australian Weekend Magazine and Review. Alison has also worked as a magazine editor and columnist and is a book editor. Specializing in writing about photography, particularly photojournalism and social documentary, Alison has interviewed photographers from around the world covering a broad range of topics. She holds a Masters Degree in Media Communications (Monash University) and was awarded Honors for her 2013 thesis “Has the Critical Mirror Shattered – What is the Future for Professional Photojournalism in the Digital News Age?” Alison is also the author of three books including the best-selling biography “Rock Chicks: The Hottest Female Rockers from the1960s to Now”. In addition Alison has also studied photography at Photography Studies College (Melbourne) and her photographs are held in private collections.