The Chain

Chien-Chi Chang, Cheryl Lai

Published by Trolley, 2004
ISBN 10: 0954207955 / ISBN 13: 9780954207953
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Synopsis: The renowned Taiwanese photographer Chien-Chi Chang’s images of the Long Fa Tang Temple in Taiwan, where helpers among the 700 mental patients, many chained together, farm one million chickens.

In 1970 Ki Lun-Tai, an abbot in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, decided to become a Buddhist monk. He built a thatched hut in front of his house, adopted a schizophrenic as his disciple, and began to raise pigs and chickens with his new helper, whom he kept on a line of string, much like a leash.

Within 20 years Li Kun-Tai, by now rechristened (by himself) Hieh Kai Feng, had 600 deranged helpers, most chained together, almost exclusively consigned to him by their families, distraught by the shame of having to look after lunatics, or socially unacceptable misfits.

Ten years later, in 1999, Long Fa Tang — the Temple of the Dragon — was recognised as the largest chicken farm in Taiwan, with a million chickens laying eggs and defecating in almost equal proportions. They are tended by helpers from the 700 mental patients in the ‘care’ of the Temple, wading through slurry, eggs and chicken corpses.

Hieh Kai Feng had by now sought to sophisticate the impracticalities of string, and with such a large number of inmates found that a light chain was the most efficient form of control. So he chained them together, one by one, through noon and night. He is delighted with the results, and proud of them.

He firmly believes he is not only taking care of his patients but also helping alleviate the tremendous burden placed on their families. Chien-Chi Chang, born in Taiwan in 1961, took these photographs with a sense of awe. He has produced a catalogue of infinite humanity and its consequences, an artless choreograph of emotions. They are repetitive, and benefit from that. They are squalid, careful and uncomfortably reminiscent of humours, whims and childlike uncertainties.

In 2003 this book was honoured with the Pictures of the Year Best Book Award and included in PDN's Photo Annual as one of the year's best books.

About the Author: Chien-Chi Chang is a member of Magnum Photos. His images in The Chain were a highlight of the Venice Biennale in 2001, at the São Paulo Bienal in March 2002 and at the ICP Triennial in 2003. In 2003 this book was honoured with the Pictures of the Year Best Book Award and included in PDN's Photo Annual as one of the year's best books.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Chain
Publisher: Trolley
Publication Date: 2004
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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Chang, Chien-Chi
Published by Trolley, London, UK (2002)
ISBN 10: 0954207955 ISBN 13: 9780954207953
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Book Description Trolley, London, UK, 2002. First Edition. Very Good+ hardcover in illustrated boards housed in Very Good+ metal box. Light shelfwear to box includes slight scattered scuffing to bottom and sides. Bumping to wrapper of lower half of box. Smudging to top half of box. Light shelfwear to exterior of book includes bumping to fore-edge corners. Accordian bound b&w images and text are clean and bright. Overall, handsome copy. Unpaginated. Bookseller Inventory # 11581

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Chang, Chien-Chi
Published by Trolley (2002)
ISBN 10: 0954207955 ISBN 13: 9780954207953
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Book Description Trolley, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near fine. First Edition, First Printing. SIGNED COPY Trolley, 2002. Hardcover in pictoral boards. First Edition, First Printing (with full number line ending in 1). Accordion style with numerous photographs showing Taiwanese mental patients chained together. The men were used at a Buddhist temple to help farm one million chickens. SIGNED and dated 2003 by Chien Chi Chang. BOOK CONDITON: internaly fine in Near Fine boards showing shelf wear to edges and corners. SIGNED. The renowned Taiwanese photographer Chien-Chi Chang’s images of the Long Fa Tang Temple in Taiwan, where helpers among the 700 mental patients, many chained together, farm one million chickens. In 1970 Ki Lun-Tai, an abbot in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, decided to become a Buddhist monk. He built a thatched hut in front of his house, adopted a schizophrenic as his disciple, and began to raise pigs and chickens with his new helper, whom he kept on a line of string, much like a leash. Within 20 years Li Kun-Tai, by now rechristened (by himself) Hieh Kai Feng, had 600 deranged helpers, most chained together, almost exclusively consigned to him by their families, distraught by the shame of having to look after lunatics, or socially unacceptable misfits. Ten years later, in 1999, Long Fa Tang — the Temple of the Dragon — was recognised as the largest chicken farm in Taiwan, with a million chickens laying eggs and defecating in almost equal proportions. They are tended by helpers from the 700 mental patients in the ‘care’ of the Temple, wading through slurry, eggs and chicken corpses. Hieh Kai Feng had by now sought to sophisticate the impracticalities of string, and with such a large number of inmates found that a light chain was the most efficient form of control. So he chained them together, one by one, through noon and night. He is delighted with the results, and proud of them. He firmly believes he is not only taking care of his patients but also helping alleviate the tremendous burden placed on their families. Chien-Chi Chang, born in Taiwan in 1961, took these photographs with a sense of awe. He has produced a catalogue of infinite humanity and its consequences, an artless choreograph of emotions. They are repetitive, and benefit from that. They are squalid, careful and uncomfortably reminiscent of humours, whims and childlike uncertainties. In 2003 this book was honoured with the Pictures of the Year Best Book Award and included in PDN's Photo Annual as one of the year's best books. Bookseller Inventory # 158

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Chien-Chi Chang
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Book Description Trolley, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Bookseller Inventory # 0954207955

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