World of One

Illusions of Progress (2014)

Johnny Tang is a Taiwanese-American fine arts photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. His ongoing series, World of One, is a surrealist examination of identity through self-portraiture. Taking inspiration from surrealist photographers such as Man Ray, Salvador Dali, and Lee Miller, Tang maintains the nostalgic tradition of fine arts photography by shooting only in analog film. After, Tang scans the photograph and digitally manipulates them in Photoshop for the finishing touches.

Johnny Tang是一位生活在纽约布鲁克林的美籍华人摄影师。他的最新作品《World of One》通过一系列的自拍照,以超现实主义的风格进行自我审视。Johnny Tang从Man Ray,Salvador Dali,Lee Miller等超现实主义摄影师的作品中汲取灵感。他只以胶片为媒介来拍摄,以保留传统艺术摄影的怀旧。拍摄后,他会将每张照片扫描到电脑上,再以Photoshop进行后期处理。

A Waking Dream (2014)
Narcissus (2012)
Commodum (2015)

According to Tang, “The first thing you need to know about this work is that these pictures are of me, but they are not really about me. Instead, these images combine philosophical concepts with surrealist aesthetics to build a portrait of how we develop our identities. By juxtaposing contradicting thoughts, actions and/or emotions together in the same frame, these images question which of our actions truly define us.”

“对于这个系列,你首先要明白,这些虽然都是我的照片,但他们不是真正意义上的我。事实上,这些影像是哲学概念与超现实主义美学的结合,通过最后所呈现的影像,诠释出我们是如何塑造自己的身份的,将矛盾的思想、行动或情绪融合在同一张照片中,向每个人提问,到底哪一个行为是真正的自己。”Johnny Tang这样阐述他的作品。

Shinobi No Kame (2016)
Fearful Courage (2016)
Diligentia II (2013)

Originally set on becoming a documentary and street photographer, Tang was later forced to reconsider his path after the passing of a close friend. During a period of self-examination, Tang set out to create the first image in his World of One series. He says, “Satisfied with my first attempt, I didn’t touch that style of work again for another year. I was afraid I’d never be able to make another piece to match it in quality. But encouraged by a new motivation to only create the kinds of images that I love, I kept experimenting with different themes and styles.”

最初,Johnny Tang想要成为一名纪实摄影师或街头摄影师,后来因为一位好友的离世,他开始重新思考自己的创作方法。在经历了一段自我审视的时间后,Johnny Tang拍摄了《World of One》系列的第一张照片。他说:“我对于自己第一次的尝试感到很满意,但之后的一年里,我没有再碰这种风格,因为我担心没办法拍出和它一样好的照片。但是,我内心也会涌现新的动力,驱使我拍摄自己喜欢的题材,尝试不同的主题与风格。”

The Indecisive Battle (2013)
Migrant Shores (2016)
Glory of Shame (2014)

Tang draws from many different sources to create his work, such as Chinese scroll paintings, Japanese manga, as well as postmodern and existentialist philosophies. His work is a way of exploring the contradictions of Asian-American identity, and processing the inherent feelings of “otherness” that come along with it. Tang comments, “My hope is that in developing an Asian-American aesthetic, I will influence our culture in such a way that it also reflects my unique cultural background. This way I can feel more at home here in America. It’s a project that is no doubt important both for myself and for other Asian-Americans.”

Johnny Tang的创作有着很多不同的灵感来源,从中国卷轴画到日本漫画,从后现代主义到存在主义哲学。他的作品探索了亚洲裔美国人的矛盾身份,以及这种身份所引发的”异己感“(Otherness)。Johnny Tang说:”我希望可以创作出一种属于美籍亚裔人们的美学风格,这种风格既可以对我们的文化产生一定的影响,同时又能反映出我个人独特的身份背景。通过这种方式,让自己更有一种融入美国社会的感觉。对我自己和其他美籍亚裔人们来说,这个摄影系列无疑都是非常重要的。”

Paradox of Choice (2013)
Hopeful Despair (2013)
The Stranger (2013)

Each of Tang’s images tells a different story about the universal human condition, belying the surface appeal of his aesthetic. He says, “I don’t just want my work to be interesting to look at; I want it to be thought-provoking and emotionally moving as well. Somewhere between eye candy and mind candy is where I want my work to live, and my working process is constantly struggling to find that balance.”

Johnny Tang的作品有着独特的视觉魅力,而蕴藏在这些视觉影像之下的,是一个个有关人性的故事。他说:“我不想让作品只是看上去很有趣,我想要它们引人思考,或是能在情感上触动他人。我希望我的作品在视觉和情感上达到一定的平衡。因此,我的创作过程,也是我不断去寻找这种平衡的过程。”

NSA (2014)
Angry Calm (2016)
Somnium (2013)

Facebook: ~/johnnytangphoto
Instagram: @johnnytangphoto


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao