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Christian Science Center Archives | Johnny Tang Photo
Christian Science Center, Boston MA

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 …

On Narcissus

Narcissus (from the series World of One) As the name implies, this piece was inspired by the story of Narcissus from Greek myth. In summation, Narcissus was a hunter who fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He then died of starvation, as he refused to take his eyes off himself. This is essentially meant to be a cautionary tale: Basically, don’t be too much of a douche. I feel as if we now live in a hyper-narcissistic society. Social media has enabled us all to live in our own digital “World of One”s. Whenever …

World of One: Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek (from the series World of One) 2012 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Chrome 24″ x 41 1/4″ inches | edition of 5   This is easily the most expensive photograph I have ever taken. Shot on 35mm Fujichrome color reversal film (which shoots positive, rather than negative images for those who are not in the know) at the Christian Science Center in Boston, with the assistance of my brother. I was originally hoping that the leaves on the trees would have more red in them by now, but I got spots of yellow here and there instead. …

World of One: Narcissus

Narcissus (from the series World of One) 2012 Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives 24″ x 44 5/16″ inches | edition of 5   It felt like I was going to die if I didn’t make this picture. The idea of it kept calling to me from the back of my mind. As with “Reflection” this was shot using film, and then scanned and manipulated in photoshop after. Photographed at the reflection pool at the Christan Science Center in Boston. Concept was inspired by the story of “Narcissus” from greek mythology. Sign up for my Secret Society and never miss …

World of One: Reflection

It feels like I’ve been waiting all summer to take this picture. Unlike the previous images in the world of one series, this was shot on 35mm kodak color film. Of course the film is scanned and manipulated digitally after. But actually shooting with film again, reminded me of how I’d completely forgotten the feeling of fear that came with it. The big difference is this, when you’re shooting with film, you’re bleeding money every time you press the button. I hear dollar signs in my head for each click of the shutter on my old Minolta. But film has …