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Miscellaneous Archives | Johnny Tang Photo
Death of Narcissus

World of One: Death of Narcissus

Death of Narcissus is a homage to Hippolyte Bayard’s Self-Portrait as a Drowned Man, one of my favorite early photographs (and one of the world’s first selfies!). While the technical setup for this image has been floating around in my head for years. It wasn’t until I saw this Vox video reminding me of Bayard’s picture, that the inspiration for the narrative came to me. Hippolyte Bayard is a pioneer and inventor of photography in who lived in 19th century France. But he was was overlooked by the French Academy of Sciences in favor of his rival Louis Daguerre, who …

BBoy Monster: Kilo

Kilo and I used to hit the same practice spot until it got closed down. He’s always had an interesting and original style incorporating lots of flexible movements. In short, his style is perfect for the strengths of this series. Kilo was a dream to work with. He came with a bunch of ideas having been exposed to the work previously. The multiple heads/faces was actually his idea. He wanted them “like those Hindu sculptures” he said. I think one of the faces ones works much more seamlessly than others. But overall I’m content with how these came out. Another …

Elderly Taiwanese man sitting at a wooden table smiling.

Grandpa

Grandpa, this is how I’ll always remember you, looking healthy, wise and curious. By the time I took this, you had already forgotten my name. You had already forgotten that I was your grandson. But of course, I remembered you, I remembered who you were to me. My grandfather taught high school physics in Taiwan for most of his life. But for me, he mostly just taught me about life. Some of my favorite lessons included: “Always strive to be #2. You get almost the same respect as #1, but with half the responsibility!” “You have to grasp the root …

Johnny Tang addressing the crowd at the opening for his show at Pearl River Mart, March 23, 2019.

Show Report: World of One @ Pearl River Mart

I’ve been a bad artist. My show came down at the beginning of May, but I am just posting this show report now. I’ve been procrastinating despite it perhaps being my greatest achievement. Because in order to tell the story of this exhibition, I have to talk about what it was like to prepare for it. Four weeks before the show was set to open, right around the time I should be kicking off preparations – my grandfather died. I flew to Taiwan two days after receiving the news, and stayed for a week to attend his funeral and see …

World of One OPENING RECEPTION

Announcing the opening of World of One my first solo show at Pearl River Mart in New York, NY’s Tribeca neighborhood!!! The show will be running from March 23 – May 5, with the opening reception on March 23, 2019 from 5-7PM. Come out and play!!! World of One is a surreal and cinematic exploration of how identity is developed through self-portraiture. By juxtaposing opposing actions within the same frame, Tang welcomes us to question our thoughts, actions and emotions that truly define us. Is it our habits, the things we do subconsciously? Or is it our spectacular one offs, …

Beautiful Meditations 2/3

Beautiful Meditations

Beautiful Meditations 2017 I’ve been trying to shoot a picture like this for years. In 2011, I tried to burn 1000 origami cranes in my parents’ backyard during a blizzard. Except they wouldn’t burn (they got too wet). Since then, my dreamed of making a picture containing these elements: fire, snow, and origami; have remained just that – a dream. Turns out I was missing a key ingredient – gasoline. Balancing Trauma and Catharsis This is my favorite kind of work to make, largely because I get to simultaneously create and destroy. I see this process as my way of …

Asian man in black standing on a stump in the middle of a pond, men in white reflected within the pond looking at him.

World of One: Narcissus II

Narcissus II 2017 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24″ x 48 1/8” | Paper Size (HxW): 30″ x 54 1/8” | Edition of 5 I’ve just completed a beautiful new addition to my World of One series, welcome to the world Narcissus II!!! The picture in my Beautiful Failures post and Narcissus II were shot on the same day. In fact, Narcissus II is much closer to the shot that I had originally planned for the day, and was actually shot first!!! But it was while we were shooting this angle, that I realized the Beautiful Failures angle would be more …

guy in a dark suit standing on a stump in the middle of a big puddle.

Beautiful Failures

This picture is a little painful for me to look at. It is just so close to being a fantastic new iteration in my WO1 series but it’s not. Instead I’m adding it to my pile of beautiful failures, images that almost succeed but stop just short of the finish line. I’ve been trying to do more WO1 images involving reflections (similar to what I did for Narcissus back in the day), and in particular, I’ve been trying to do a version of Narcissus that uses the reflections from puddles. So far however, I haven’t been lucky enough with things …

LGBTQ+ Make Out At Trump Tower

I went to the LGBTQ+ Make Out At Trump Tower this past Sunday to document the LGBTQ+ struggle. Having had numerous gay friends since college, I felt like it was my duty to go document this protest in particular. Even though it was much less popular than some of the previous protests I covered in the last few weeks. Plus, the image of a huge crowd of people making out at the same time while protesting Trump seemed like a sure win in my mind. It was a cold, slippery, and rainy afternoon which probably contributed to the low turnout …

Snow Days

When I was a kid, blizzards usually meant snow days i.e. day off from school to go sledding with my friends. So I have many fond memories associated with snow, and blizzards from when I was little. That’s probably why I try to get at least one snow shoot in every year. But shooting in a blizzard can be unpredictable because the weather might suddenly change on you. Basically I need to drop everything and pull together a shoot at the last minute to make it happen. This year, I went out during the blizzard last Thursday to photograph New …