Teng Nan-kuang, Anti-Communist Patriot, 1953, gelatin silver photograph, 40.5 x 50.5cm

Teng Nan-kuang, Anti-Communist Patriot, 1953, gelatin silver photograph, 40.5 x 50.5cm

Exhibition Space: Tension and turmoil

When the Kuomintang Chinese Nationalist Party fled mainland China in 1949 following civil war defeat to the Communist Party of China, their destination was the nearby island of Taiwan.

The tension filled decades that followed were explored at a recent Australian Centre on China in the World exhibition as AARON WALKER discovers.

The man's name isn't known. Tattooed across his chest is the flag of the Kuomintang Chinese Nationalist Party.

Underneath the flag are the words "Kill Mao", the Chairman of the Communist Party of China.

The image is confronting. Standing shirtless and tall with impeccable posture, he is surrounded by men in military garb.

It's hard to escape the feeling that the now-anonymous man is in some kind of trouble for his defiant tattooed statement.

The image was taken in 1953 by Taiwanese photographer Teng Nan-kuang and it is simply titled Anti-Communist Patriot. It was one of 44 artworks on display at the Australian Centre on China in the World's exhibition Between - Picturing 1950-1960s Taiwan.

The photographs, paintings, woodblock prints and sketches, on-loan from the National Museum of History in Taipei, offer diverse snapshots of everyday life in Taiwan during the political and social changes of the 1950s and 1960s through the eyes of 15 artists and photographers.