Chambers Fine Art is pleased participate in Paris Photo: Curiosa, curated by Holly Rousseau. In 2017 Taca, embarked on an extended journey in search of the grotto-heavens that with the Five Great Mountains occupy a primordial position within the sacred geography of China. Described by scholar Franciscus Verellen as “places of refuge, initiation, and of transcendental passage, paradisial microcosms,” these sacred sites (dongtian) were particularly important in Daoist ritual and cosmography, and were first mentioned in the revelations of Shangqing around 360 CE. For Paris Photo, we will present 10 new works from the series, produced as platinum photographic prints.
Among contemporary photographers of his generation Taca is unusual in his overriding interest China as it used to be, not as it exists today. There are virtually no references to the present or even the recent past, the exceptions being a rubber hose in one of the photographs in the current exhibition or the occasional appearance of forlorn relics of past devotional practices left behind in these caves. Far from being a documentary photographer, however, bringing back reports from remote areas, he uses photography as a way of establishing a rapport between his own unique vision and the sparse evidence he finds in his travels of long-gone and largely forgotten practices, far from the concerns of the great majority of the inhabitants of a newly prosperous China. His preference for the unassuming and the overlooked, the acceptance of impermanence, can be compared with the concept of wabi- sabi which played such an important role in the development of Japanese aesthetics.
Taca’s work has entered the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.