In City Disqualified, Yuan Goang-Ming forces his viewers to reassess their relationship with the city, in this case Taipei and one of its best-known locales, the Ximen District. Usually filled with buses, cars and people, day and night, the Ximen District in Yuan’s photographs is preternaturally quiet and devoid of movement: the familiar has become unfamiliar.
City Disqualified is a photomontage. Yuan began by taking images with a conventional camera. He then manipulated them and collaged them with a computer to remove all trace of human activity. As critic Chia Chi Jason Wang states, “The dramatic treatment makes the city seem to be an enormous stage that has been thoroughly emptied. In a single moment, the entire theater of the city seems to have shed all functionality.”
In these works and in many of his time-based video projects Yuan is concerned with the relationship between the real and the imagined, the genuine and its imitation. He asks viewers to consider whether a city without the activity that is its life-blood can qualify as a city.
Yuan Goang-Ming. Born in Taipai, Taiwan, 1965. Lives and works in Taipai. City Disqualified: Ximen by Day. 2002. Digital color photograph. Private Collection. ©2015 Yuan Goang-Ming