World of One: Shinobi No Kame

Shinobi No Kame 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24″ x 40 7/16” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30″ x 46 7/16” | Edition of 5 Shinobi No Kame is inspired by Ninja Turtles (my favorite tv show growing up), and by the legendary Life Magazine photographer Gordon Parks. Although the atmosphere of Shinobi No Kame is reminiscent of a generic comic book ambush scene. The composition is inspired by Gordon Parks’ iconic The Invisible Man collaboration with writer Ralph Ellison. Production Notes This shot was taken almost as an afterthought. This summer, I was obsessed with shooting a water balloon scene for …

World of One: Citong

Citong 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24” x 52 7/16” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 58 7/16” | Edition of 5   Citong is named after my father’s hometown, a small village in Taiwan’s rural southern countryside. This image was shot at my grandparents’ house. A place remarkably unchanged since I was last there nearly ten years ago. Though this picture is loaded with nostalgia for me personally, I think artistically it comes up a little short. Here are some thoughts on why that is so.   Production Notes From a technical standpoint, these were really difficult shooting conditions. …

World of One: Migrant Shores

Migrant Shores 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24” x 47” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 53” | Edition of 5 Shoot Notes I was visiting family in Taiwan and Hainan this summer, where I also managed to shoot two World of One pictures. Migrant Shores was taken in Sanya, a popular beach and resort destination on tropical island of Hainan, China. Physically, I think this was one of the most difficult shots I endured so far. The heat and humidity of the tropical island climate turned any sort of outdoor activity into a workout. Hell, I’d start sweating …

World of One: Fearful Courage

Fearful Courage 2016 Archival Pigment Print 24″ x 41″ inches | edition of 5 General Comments I shot Fearful Courage in November of 2014, but due to a lack of funding I was unable to develop this piece until recently. That said, I’m relieved to see that it actually came out ok! In the words of an old photographer I once worked for “It feels like taking a shit you’ve been holding in for months!” Procrastination aside, I’m also pleased to finish this image in time for an autumn release! It’s a dream of mine to make a World of …

Why Your Background Matters, In Art and In Life

I recently returned from a trip to Taiwan and Hainan, where I was shooting work and visiting family. As I was searching for places to serve as the background in my photos, I also thought about how my search was symbolic of my trip as a whole. Choosing a good background is a photographic skill, which is why professional photographers often bring their own. A good background can complement the subject being photographed, while a bad one can be distracting. A photobomb for example, makes for a distracting background. As the whole point of the activity is to take attention …

Why the Colorful Shoes?

Excerpt from Invictus What’s with the colorful shoes? This is a question I get a lot when it comes to my self-portrait work. The short and simple answer, is that it’s an allusion to my youthful days as a competitive BBoy (break dancer). The long and complicated answer however, is that they’re there to represent the mysteries of life we have yet to solve. Sounds like art school bullshit, I know. But bare with me a little. The World of One is centered around the themes of dichotomy and paradox. I use the black and white suits as a metaphor …

World of One: Memento Mori

Memento Mori 2015 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24 x 47 1/8 inches | edition of 5   When our friends pass away, they take a piece of us with them. Their absence leaves a void in our lives, directly proportional to the impact they made in them. Memento Mori was created with this concept in mind, and was meant to be a tribute to my friends who’ve passed away. But I wouldn’t exactly consider this a successful image (not striking enough), so it’ll have to remain in the “almost good” pile for the time being. What bothers me …

World of One: Fortuna

Fortuna 2015 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24 x 41 1/4 inches | edition of 5   Growing up in the US through the mid 80’s and 90’s, I was raised in a culture obsessed with trying to convince everyone that they are winners. This is an unrealistic outlook, given the fact that in most competitions, more often than not, there can be only one winning party. So statistically speaking, myself and others often ended up on the losing end of things. For me, this near obsessive focus on being a winner has actually had a negative effect. Mostly …

World of One: Somnium

Somnium 2013 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24″ x 38 1/4″ inches | edition of 5   My pictures usually begin with some notes in my sketchbook, which I always take notes in, but in which I almost never make sketches. Sometimes I have a clear image in my mind of what I want to make, but I have no idea what that image means. Other times I have the title of the picture scribbled on a piece of paper, but no idea how I want it to look. In the case of the image being presented today, I …

World of One: Invictus

Invictus 2013 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24″ x 43″ inches | edition of 5   “Being unconquerable lies with yourself: Being conquerable lies with your enemy.” – Sun Tzu’s the Art of War The next two pieces in the World of One, Invictus (Latin for “unconquerable”) being the first, will explore the idea of being alone in a crowd. While originally the idea was to only create one picture exploring themes of loneliness, the more I thought about it, the more my thoughts started to focus on the difference between being alone and wanting to be alone. For …