Tiane Doan na Champassak’s Cibachrome prints are white, blue and red – the colors of the Thai flag. The glossy paper reveals delicate silhouettes, stirring, ambiguous shapes photographed blindly with a powerful flash. Thus exposed, beauty becomes asexual.
An intrinsically ambivalent medium, photography readily lends itself to the issues of sexual identity. Through Sunless, the artist questions how society defines man or woman and probes the notion of norm in matters of sexuality. While homosexuality has gained stronger visibility in the contemporary art scene, works dealing with bisexuality or transgender still remain marginal – often deemed overly disturbing, or simply frightening. Tiane Doan na Champassak elegantly and soberly addresses these sensitive issues.
Striving to adapt the medium to the images, the artist presents dazzling nudes printed on Ilfochrome paper by Roland Dufau. And in contrast to these, his abstract urban views printed in Piezography (black and white) on metal paper offer a fantasmagoric setting to his sylphs.
These photographs were shot in Thailand in 2012-2013 and represent the second part of a larger study initiated with Spleen and Ideal in 2010-2011. The series was recently published by Editions du Lic under the title, Sunless.
A French artist of Asian origin, Tiane Doan na Champassak (b. 1973) successfully initiated his career in documentary photography, before shifting to an artistic practice focused on the multifaceted complexity of the human being. Verging on abstraction, fascinated by expressions of faith, the effects of censorship and troubles of sexual identity, Tiane Doan na Champassak ceaselessly investigates the many faces of human creativity, always searching for the most appropriate technique and format to reveal spiritual and plastic sensitivity. Tiane Doan na Champassak also explores the links between his own photographic production and anonymous images collected on the internet, personal memorabilia or again clippings.