Chien-Chi Chang

The Chain, No. 4, 1993-1999/2015

Chien-Chi Chang (Taiwanese, born 1961), The Chain, No. 4, 1993-1999/2015, gelatin silver print on Ilford Multigrade Warm-tone Faber paper, 64 x 42 in. Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School, 2016.11.

The Chain is a photography project that consists of 45 black-and-white images taken between 1993 and 1999 in a private mental institution in Taiwan, where patients were chained together in pairs. Chang's photographs reveal the complex nature of alienation and connection that the chained men experienced and explore the relationship between the individuals in each bonded pair. As one critic noted, "It can be said that the series probes beneath the surface of the complicated dialectical relationship among viewers, the viewed, and the photographer: viewers as subjects, the artist as an observer, the subjects as artist." Indeed, as Chien-Chi Chang has stated: “At the moment I press the shutter, I (the artist) am in control of the situation, but so are they (the subjects).” This series was exhibited at the Taiwan Pavilion of the Venice Biennale in 2001 and the São Paulo Biennial in 2002.