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Brooklyn 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 …

BGirl Monsters: Sunny

BGirl Monsters: Sunny – Blind Style As of writing this, I’ve been watching Sunny dance (in awe) for about four years now. In that time I’ve seen her do things I’ve never seen any other dancer do – regardless of age or gender. Her style is powerful, technical, and very well executed. Don’t let her bubbly demeanor fool you, because she’ll smoke you on the dance floor and she’ll do it with a smile. It was a real honor getting the chance to shoot her for this project, even more so since she’s a fellow creative and an avid photographer …

Feeling Numb - A shirtless man standing in a snow storm surrounded by a group of men in black freezing their asses off.

World of One: Feeling Numb

Feeling Numb 2018 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24” x 49 1/8” | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 49 1/8” | Edn 5 I shot Feeling Numb on a suggestion from my old friend Lisa Diep. “I want one side that’s feeling! And the other side, that’s numbness!!!” She told me. Lisa’s and I have known each other since high school, so she occasionally likes to pretend she’s my art director. At first I thought this was another throw away idea. But the more I thought about it, the more appealing it seemed to me. The problem I told her, wasn’t …

Chasing Magritte - A man in white tossing a bowler hat into the air, a group of men in black jumping to grab the hat

World of One: Chasing Magritte

Chasing Magritte 2018 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24″ x 47 5/8” | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 53 5/8” | Edn 5 Chasing Magritte is about wanting to emulate your heroes, as well as my homage to the turn of the century Surrealist painter Rene Magritte. It’s probably no secret by now, but in case you didn’t know, that I’m a huge Magritte fan. Dali might be the poster boy for Surrealism, but there’s something about Magritte’s work that I’ve always been more drawn to. I don’t know if it’s his wit, or just because he’s more subtle. But there’s …

the Offering - a man in white seated at a park bench with an out stretched hand, a crowd of men in black walking by him refusing his hand.

World of One: the Offering

the Offering 2018 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24” x 41 9/16” | Paper Size (HxW): 30” x 47 9/16” | Edn 5 The Offering is inspired and titled after a 2013 piece, by the Taiwanese American artist James Jean. Jean is one of the few Taiwanese American artists, visibly successful, working in the fine arts today. So he’s basically like my art hero, and his work just blows me away. I’ve often taken inspiration from his style of composition, use of color, and also the otherworldly themes present in his work. TheOffering is my homage to the man and his …

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 …

Cycle of Love Triptych

Cycle of Love

Cycle of Love 2017 Just released! Cycle of Love!!! It’s been six years since I’ve done any work involving origami. This is in large part due to the fact that it took me a whole year to complete the last one, because it involved folding a thousand paper cranes in pursuit of making a wish (Senbazuru). But the thing is, although I always tell people the story of how I made my wish, I hardly ever discuss what I actually wished for. Traditionally a Senbazuru folder is suppose to make some sort of selfless wish, such as: wishing a couple …

Portrait of a Young Women, 2017 WMNYC

Street Photography Lately

#WMNYC With all the recent protests that have happened in the last week, I felt the need to do my part in documenting this moment in history. The last time I felt this way, and probably the last time I really shot straight photography, was when President Obama was first inaugurated in 2009. I was still a university student then, and I haven’t really thought about shooting street photography much since. Mary Ellen Mark used to describe street photography to me as like “Playing an instrument, if you don’t practice it, you’ll lose it.” So I was a little nervous …

White suited Asian guy sitting on some steps in the shade, surrounded by angry looking dark suited asian guys with red shoes.

World of One: Angry Calm – the Art of Cool

Angry Calm 2016 Giclée Image size (HxW): 24″ x 47 9/16” inches | Paper Size (HxW): 30″ x 53 9/16” | Edition of 5   What is the essence of cool? I’ve spent years of my life (some would say wasted), trying find the answer to this question. The art of cool of me however, has always eluded me. Growing up in the 90s, I thought parachute pants were cool (something my high school friends will never let me forget). I also spent the entirety of my 20s trying to “keep it real” maintaining a lifestyle befitting for a bohemian …