Born 1983, Taichung, Taiwan
In his Classic Skin Flick series (2012), Chang Li-Ren reflects on the way individuals and governments “button up” the truth for the sake of appearances through digital animations of well-known Western and Chinese paintings in which women come alive, undress, and strike erotic poses. He was inspired by the censorship Taiwan experienced under the postwar Republican (Minguo) government: since erotic and pornographic films could not be shown openly, cinemas would project them onto a small screen against the back wall. The main screen could be raised to reveal the illicit film and dropped to hide it if police arrived. Ordinary people developed a similar modus vivendi, he notes, hiding disrespect and disobedience beneath a compliant “outside” face. In these works, classic scenes serve as masks for an animated, and far more agitated, reality.