Em Taiwan, desde a década de 70, é comum a apresentação de grupos musicais e de dança em locais remotos usando palcos improvisados, quadro que se transformou nos anos 90 quando surgiram oscaminhões-palco, combinando o meio de transporte do grupo e a configuração de um espaço próprio para as apresentações. Essas estruturas robóticas, que se desdobram em palco e cenários psicodelicamente coloridos e iluminados, dotados de poderosos autofalantes e um apelo sensorial alucinante que parece convidar ao transe, se tornaram populares em todo o país. O artista ao deslocar esses caminhões e suas cenas, inserindo-os numa paisagem silenciosa e alheia, acentua o impacto da sua inserção na rotina e no imaginário dos taiwaneses.

Taipei (Taiwan)

Performing groups in the form of cabarets, song and dance ensembles have been active in Taiwan since the 1970s, making regular appearances in all sorts of occasions–from weddings, festivities, and even funerals. Their performances are often required in remote places, where makeshift stages are assembled prior to the show, and disassembled when it’s time to ring the curtain down. Around 1993, these groups started to employ stage trucks, the subject of this photo series, both as form of transportation for group members to travel from job to job, and upon arriving at their performing sites, as makeshift show stages. Once parked, these trucks can be converted, much like a transformer robot, into complete stages featuring psychedelic LED lights and thundering speakers. Making their appearances around the island together with the performing groups, the stage trucks, estimated at 800 in total, have become part of the collective memories of the Taiwanese people.

4×5 colour reversal films were used to take the pictures with the hopes of preserving all the exquisite details, in the early evenings just after sunset when the painted skies gave the stage trucks an aura of magic and serenity, creating a divine connection between them and their environments. These photos were taken in accordance with the spirit of straight photography, preserving the images as seen at the time of capture, and not digitally manipulated.

As for the presentation of the STAGE series –no man’s landscape incorporating the surrounding environment—I hope to highlight the presence of the stage trucks, directing attention to their existence in the plebeian society, and contrast their secluded state in a surreal setting to the noise and fanfare at show time. By placing the stage truck theme in a new context, I attempt to break away from the visual expressions and forms of traditional documentary approach by employing a contemporary image model that seamlessly integrates environmental portraits, visual grouping, and category construction. The STAGE project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.