I Do I Do I Do • Chien-Chi Chang • Magnum Photos

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Arts & Culture

I Do I Do I Do

Chien-Chi Chang turns wedding photography on its head with a skeptical look at the institution and industry of marriage

Chien-Chi Chang

Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do In a group wedding sponsored by Kaohsiung City, the newlyweds are invited to have a group photo taken. Kaohsiung, Taiwan. 2000. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do A bride at a photo studio. Taipei, Taiwan. 1999. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do Walking across ruins of a deserted factory in northern Taiwan, this prospective bride seeks an alternative backdrop for her wedding album. Taichung County, Taiwan. 1999 © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do One month before her wedding date, this bride spends an entire day to complete her wedding album, first in the studio and later on location in Taichung in central Taiwan. Taichung, Taiwan. 1999. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do A bride waits for her husband at the beginning of their ceremony. Taipei, Taiwan. 1998. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do On their wedding date, the bride and groom decide that their dog should participate in the ceremony, which takes place in a park in the out-skirts of Taipei. Taipei, Taiwan. 2000. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do Soon after a group wedding in Taipei newlyweds have their pictures taken respectively. Taiwan. Taipei. 2000. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang The Taipei City government sponsors a group wedding in a public park, which catches the attention of children nearby. Taiwan. 2000. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang During a location shoot in northern Taipei, this prospective bride gets phone calls from her co-workers, despite the fact that she took a day off from work. Taiwan. 1998. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang An electric fan helps achieve the desirable effect for this couple in a mansion converted into a studio outside of Taipei City. Taiwan. 1998. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do A seasick bride is comforted by her husband during a four hour journey on Taiwan Strait as part of the "Ocean Wedding," a group wedding sponsored by the Kaohsiung City government. Thirty-six couple (...)
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do A prospective couple in Taipei tries to follow the instructions of their wedding photographer while balancing themselves above a pond, so as not to get wet. Taipei, Taiwan. 1999. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Silly strings go off at the beginning of the 10-course banquet in a Taiching County village. Taiwan. 1997. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do The city of Taipei holds a group wedding in the zoo to celebrate an elephant's 80th birthday. Taipei, Taiwan. 1997. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang Newlyweds pose for a group picture after a ceremony at former President Chiang Kai-shek's Taipei residence, which is now open to the public. Taiwan. 1998. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do A newlywed couple and flower children. Taichung, Taiwan. 1997. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos
Chien-Chi Chang | I Do, I Do, I Do Having her hair done early in the morning, a bride hurries home as her future husband will soon arrive at an auspicious hour of nine o'clock to marry her. Taipei, Taiwan. 1999. © Chien-Chi Chang | Magnum Photos

These Taiwanese wedding pictures, taken by Chien-Chi Chang, are not the celebratory nuptial norm that is the bread and butter of photographers everywhere, but rather a jaundiced look at the institution and the industry of marriage.

A couple is caught in a net of spray-string confetti; a bride poses among ruin; a chain of wedding couples kisses in a zoo with caged elephants behind them; and a post-nuptial couple, in all their Western finery, sleep soundly, and separately, in the back of a limousine. I Do, I Do, I Do reveals conflicts that the artist, a 41-year-old unwed man with three younger sisters and no brothers, feels about the notion of marriage and all the traditional family pressures that it entails.