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.
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.
This is how I feel when I’m on the internet.
School of Cambridge
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.
War and Peace
A Waking Dream
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