Shu-Chen Chen

Taiwanese, lives in Taipei, Taiwan

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After was created from 2012 to 2017, and its primary content involves the condition of Taiwanese motel rooms after the occupants have left. Having myself undergone a painful experience, and working from a female point of view, I used my camera to ‘reread’ the interrelated interpretations of these motels’ gendered codes, patriarchal holdovers, obsessions with heroism, wealth games, and other symbolism, as well as the relevance of direct onsite observation to photography. I was inspired by what I found and taking these photographs simultaneously helped me to heal myself. I used the psychological challenge of imposing myself into these spaces in order to do creative work, along with the aesthetic transformations inherent in image-making, to analyze the unique spatial culture of Taiwan’s motels. Particularly when guests have just left a room, these spaces exhibit peculiar and surreal characteristics, like residual marks, lingering odors, leftover food, and rumpled beds. This all invites individual creativity, transforming the act of viewing into a photographic practice.

 

 

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