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World of One: War and Peace | Johnny Tang Photo

World of One: War and Peace

World of One: War and Peace

War and Peace (from the series World of One)

2013
Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives
24″ x 120″ inches | edition of 3

 

 

The internet is not a good place to see this image. Indeed, I think I will be hard pressed to find any place that will be suitable to show it. At exhibition size, it measures in at 24 x 120 inches – which is long, absurdly long.

Apart from its dimensions, War and Peace deviates from the other images in the World of One series in many ways: it is shot indoors, the background doesn’t actually exist in real life, and there are barely any Johnnys overlapping each other.

However, the subject matter – creation and destruction – is one to which I return frequently in my work. As an undergraduate at SCAD, I photographed burning origami cranes made from tabloid magazines. Later, my first long-term project upon graduating, I spent a year folding 1000 white origami cranes so I could watch them burn in the snow. It was while I was in the midst of the 1000 cranes project that I began working on the World of One series, and now I feel that I am finally able to tie the two bodies of work together.

The close relationship between creation and destruction is fascinating to me. In order to create something, something else must be changed. Said differently, something must be destroyed in order for something else to be created. A tree must be cut down to make paper, and one must break a few eggs to make an omelet. I find that the creation process, more often than not, is slow and deliberate. But destruction on the other hand, often comes swift and unexpected.

Special thanks to the Master of Shadows Ari Millman, the Mighty Lisa Diep, and Pusher of Buttons Sandy Sue for helping me with this shoot!

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