Tian Taiquan: Memory of Time series, 2007
Tian Taiquan was a young boy at the time of the Cultural Revolution and in fact a member of the infamous “Red Guard” himself. It is against this historical backdrop that Tian’s photographic montages are set. For the mostpart they portray tragedy, suffering ,violence, humiliation and death, and it is particularly telling that young female characters are selected to be the protagonists. Whilst there may appear in some images to be a level of sensuality, the naked and exposed bodies are more likely to be messaging the artists despair at the senselessness of the violence and loss of life. That female rather than male figures are depicted points perhaps to the fact that this was a struggle fought very much by females as well as males, and that tragically, there were significant female losses incurred. The inclusion of only female protagonists may also be referencing the historical and even present day lower status of women in Chinese society.
Tian is from Chongqing which is the home of one of the largest burial grounds for Red Guards and he uses the grounds as the setting for all his works.