Meeting Tan Wanrong

tan_wanrong_parisphoto_portrait.jpgTan Wanrong, a fine art photographer, received the bachelor degree of fine art from the Chongqing Technology and Business University(China) in 2012, and master degree of landscape architecture design from Mississippi State University in 2016. In the past ten years, she is well published and exhibited photography internationally.  

The main representative project “Enchantment vs Enticement” was published and will participate with Cipa Gallery to the Paris Photo Fair. 

When did you start photography? I got into photography when I was at college. As you know, I studied fine art; I am more focused on photography’s view since I did many design projects. At that time, the photography had a friendly environment. I often discussed shot experiences with my classmates, and my major teachers also gave me professional guidance and comments. Besides, the academy stages photo exhibitions every year. When I was junior, my teacher led us to participate in the provincial and national photography competitions, and my photography level has been significantly improved.

From documentary to ideas' expression

After you completed your master degree in landscape design in the United States, do you think your photography style has changed? If so, Is it related to your study experience?  The change is visible. When I shot in China, my project was more about the documentary or a state of life. However, when I came to America, I found that photography not only showed how people lived but also how people expressed their ideas and thoughts. Specifically, in the past my photos has been more matter of fact and responsive to what I see until I studied in America. During my study abroad, photography opened a new window for me to realize photography is a tool which can ask questions and find problems as a possibility. In this sense, the camera became my other eye to see the world. At the same time, I also learned a methodology of art to understand and validate issues that are relevant to contemporary society and try to find an answer.

The purpose of the artist and the scientist is the same

From some of your works, it seems that you are involved in some relatively sensitive topics, such as the food transgenics, so what’s the problem difficult to solve when you choose photos to express such subjects? Did you find the answer? I’d like to pay more attention to ask the question. I don’t expect to find out the answers. I want to provide a kind of problem to attract people’s attention and let more and more people table a proposal in the future. The greatest charm of art is that anything is possible. We can also say the purpose of the artist and the scientist is the same. If we find only one answer, you may not need us.

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90 x 60 cm, C-Print 90 x 60 cm, C-Print

The real tension is in the process of problems 

How is the reaction for the solo and group exhibitions of your “Enchantment vs Enticement”?
The audience said that was the first time for them to see such a unique way to display “food transgenics” topic. This reaction is my happiest place. For me, the most important thing in art is not to repeat others. Of course, I don’t want to repeat myself either. There is also a high evaluation of intense color and attractive composition. One critic said: "the real tension is not in her color and composition, but in her way of thinking and the way of getting into problems. This kind of divergent thinking is an indispensable talent for independent artists.”

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60.96x 76.2cm, C-Print 60.96x 76.2cm, C-Print

From your work, the color and composition are particularly strong, is this your style? Alternatively, do you think you’re looking for a right way to expression?
I like color since I was a child. After entering the art design area, the sense of form was subtle to me. So when I was choosing this theme, it is natural to select a strong sense of color and style.

In recent years, the photography collection market has developed rapidly. Do you think some collectors will favor your work? How is the sales situation?
Yes, my work is especially popular with young collectors. Probably my photos empathize with the fast-paced lifestyle of the moment. The agency's gallery told me that not only international collectors have collections, but also a large audience in China.

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60.96x 76.2cm, C-Print 60.96x 76.2cm, C-Print

What are your next projects after this topic? Do you still concern about sensitive topic?  As an artist, time to be alive is the time to create. As for the next topic, I have several directions, and the final choice has not yet been decided. A new theme will be coming for next year.

Your work was selected for the Paris Photo in 2018. As the largest and most authoritative photography trade show in the world, what’s your expectation? 
I feel fortunate because the gallery that represents me is one of the only two galleries have been selected in China for Paris Photo show. The world first recognized the standards of Cipa Gallery and the photographers of the gallery agency. As the youngest artist, I can participate in this exhibition with the most influential photographers in contemporary China, which is a significant improvement for me. It also gives me a valuable learning opportunity. Besides, my agency gallery also arranged me to participate in the tour exhibition of Chinese contemporary photography -- American university art gallery, which is a rare opportunity in life for me, and I will try my best to seize these opportunities.