Tiane Doan na Champassak (b. 1973, France) explores themes of gender, sexuality, and desire in his work. The prolific artist mostly works in South East Asia, where he photographs female models that he obscures and renders anonymous in various ways, depending on the project he’s working on. An avid collector of photography too, he works with both photos he has taken as well as found images, sourced mainly from flea markets around Asia. He joined GUP to talk about his ever-evolving process.
Your work seems to deal with sexuality a lot. Can you tell me what it is that fascinates you, and what you’re examining in your photography?
Exploring sexuality with the photographic medium seems the most natural thing to me. It’s as if these two worlds were inextricably linked in a metaphysical way. We are all sexual creatures, many of us living in a sort of constant denial, at least publicly, so my goal is to highlight the richness of our sexuality without the weight of taboos. Desire is my drive and photography allows me to explore various aspects of sexuality such as ambiguity and censorship.
You focus a lot on the nude female body, why only female?
That’s an interesting question I often get. The fact that my work is focusing primarily on the female body must have to do with my sexual orientation. I just talked about the importance of desire and without it or some form of attraction I doubt my photographs would be very strong. Male photographers get criticized a lot for shooting female nudes with the charge that the works are exploitative. It is exactly the opposite. There is nothing wrong with featuring beauty no matter what gender. What I find most surprising is the lack of any interesting work on the male body done by female photographers. [...]
Read the full interview in GUP #58.
Strokes is available as a book published by Siam's Guy Books.