Islands Of Light by Chris Van Laak
24 – 31 October 2018
Besides Taiwan’s main island, 165 small islands and islets fly the flag of the Republic of China.
Like other islands, the outlying islands of Taiwan resist the forces of nature, they are shaped by those forces and bear their scars. The islands of Taiwan also resist the forces of political conflict and bear their culture inflicted scars. They represent the perilousness of sovereignty in a frantic political climate, in a hot war turned cold.
But still, life on the islands is older than any of the flags that have been put up throughout history. The stalemate state of geopolitics only seems to be an episode of a much longer story of life’s attempts at self-determination, be it natural life or cultivated life or anything indistinguishable in between nature and culture.
About The Artist: Chris Van Laak
Born 1986 in Germany, based in Taiwan. Since setting foot in Asia in 2014, he has shifted his focus from a career in the NGO-sector towards photography, documenting development in a cultural context while reflecting the role of the photographer as an outsider immersing in communities.
His work has been exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions in Thailand and India.
His latest work has been influenced by his background in Philosophy of Arts and evolves around the idea of “giving visual agency to the ordinary” in times of excessive visual representation through the Internet and social media.
He works as a curator and teacher in Taipei, seeking collaborations with local communities in Taiwan and as of late also with local communities on his trips to East-Africa. He pursues strictly personal projects and contributes to twreporter.org, an independent media outlet in Taiwan.