The first thing you should know, is that these are pictures of me, but they’re not really about me. Instead these images combine surrealism, with philosophy, to build a portrait of how identities are formed. By cleverly juxtaposing contradicting forces, these images question which of our thoughts and actions are the ones that define us.


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The images presented here are shot on analog film with the aid of an assistant, and a tripod. I direct all the shots, while the assistant pulls the trigger on my mark. I chose to work in this way, because I find the color of analog film to be nostalgic of a bygone era, which has been crucial for making the dreamlike world I present seem all the more familiar.

While many of the ideas presented in these images come from western philosophy, particularly existentialism and postmodernism. My inspiration for the visuals compositions usually comes from Asian sources, such as Chinese scroll paintings and Japanese manga. I find that working in this way, I am able to pay homage to both my cultural backgrounds, as an Asian and an American. This is another multi-faceted and dynamic fusion that my photos work to express; the two different cultural backgrounds that I inhabit come together to create something new, and something uniquely Asian American.

More info: johnnytangphoto.com

Yin Yang Whisper

This is how I feel when I’m trying to take my own advice.

Invictus

Narcissus

This is how I feel when I’m on the internet.

The Stranger

School of Cambridge

Painful Pleasures

Pleasures of Pain

The Indecisive Battle

Illusions of Progress

Paradox of Choice

“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.” – Soren Kierkegaard.

Odysseus’ Rock

Diligentia I

Diligentia II

War and Peace

A Waking Dream

Commodum

Fortuna

Grounded Ambitions

Fearful Courage

Migrant Shores