Tianze Jiang is an artist who based in Chicago, London and Shanghai. Tianze mainly works in photography. His works investigate the usage symbolism in news industry and how the "truth" was constructed through the symbols.
For the past year, I was collecting newspapers from different agency, particularly those who influence millions of audiences. So I subscribe both New York Times and Financial Times as main source for the message or information. Other minor sources were Times, U.S.A today, Global Times and Les Fiago. In the past year, over two hundred newspapers have been delivered to my studio. In our contemporary world, events are mostly simplified as a text or a image in the news. As most of the audiences do not have direct experience towards those event. To some extent, these news magnates shapes our views and notion. Especially like Disney, who shares great percent in news industries. So I am having great concern in the information that I received daily and a complex event can be easily represented by simplified images. And how truth are far away from the ordinary audiences.
My intention for the project is to make a media study, particularly how the symbolism exchange was occurred in the daily news. From my view, symbolism exchange create ideology and consider the background of the newspaper, potentially each piece of the paper is a propaganda. I see negative propaganda as an invasion to both the social system and personal liberty. Negative propaganda is a loud noise that disturbing people. Also, negative propaganda mostly presented as poor images. It is neither informational nor aesthetic.
So I was looking for commonly used symbol in these newspapers and trying to see how do they construct meaning, and if they meet my standard of being a propaganda, I will tries to deconstruct them and reconstruct them with my own coding. I found middle east, war are a over repeated topic in western media, particularly on Finical Times and New York Times. So I am using the middle east war, G20 as a story line in my project. In such storyline, I found flowers, portrait of politician are common elements in those news, so I also collected these images from the news paper and using my own way to reconstruct them.
My study came in with three parallel narrative: original text and image from the paper, my reconstructed image from the original news and my installation with the newspaper. I intend to use major fruits and flowers as symbols that can create open-ended narratives. The meaning of the fruit and flowers changed over time and in the contemporary world, the fruit and vegetable and flowers do not have fixed signifiers. The open-ended narrative gives viewers with freedom in reading the signifier of the message. The message can avoid becoming a personal biased opinion towards the subject matter. Fruit, flowers and newspaper also share a lot of similar features. They both emphasize a temporality and a sense of daily, an essential part of society. I am trying to turn different kinds of fruit into messages in responding or deconstructing the original message in the newspaper. It may build an interesting conversation between the artwork and the viewers. In such a way, the work avoids being any kind of instigation that put me in a higher position than the viewers.
Finally in image making, all the images are constructed in my own studio, for the portarit, I protecting them on a background paper and then rephotographing them with my medium format camera,