Michael Jang

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Michael Jang (born 1951) is an American documentary photographer. Jang is best known for his 1970s photographs of life in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with subjects ranging from his family to punk bands and street scenes.

Early life[edit]

Jang was born in Marysville, California in 1951.[1][2] Jang studied at CalArts in Los Angeles, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1973.[3][4] Initially a design major, Jang switched to photography after being exposed to the work of Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander.[5] While at CalArts, Jang photographed the raunchiness of the student environment; in 2014 he published the photos in a book titled College.[6] During his time at CalArts he used fake press credentials to access events and parties at The Beverly Hilton hotel, where he was able to photograph a range of people from the unknown to famous musicians and politicians.[1][7][8]

Later in the 1970s, he moved to San Francisco, where he would receive an MFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute.[1][9] While in grad school he photographed the San Francisco punk rock scene, including a portrait of Johnny Rotten following his last Sex Pistols performance.[10]

Work[edit]

Following art school, Jang continued to pursue creative projects while earning a living as a commercial photographer in San Francisco.[11] He was relatively unknown as an artist until 2002, when the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art acquired several of his photographs.[12] The subjects of his work are mainly vernacular and street photography.[13] His 1973 series The Jangs documents the assimilation of his Asian-American family.[14][15] His 1983 series Summer Weather documented auditioning weather reporters.[16]

In 2019 the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts staged a retrospective exhibition of his work.[13] The same year, Atelier Editions published a retrospective monograph of his work titled Who is Michael Jang?.[1]

Publications[edit]

  • Who is Michael Jang. Los Angeles: Atelier, 2019. ISBN 978-0997593594. With an introduction by Sandra S. Phillips, a foreword by Erik Kessels and texts by Kingston Trinder. Edition of 3000 copies.[17]

Collections[edit]

Jang's work is held in the following public collection:

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "A Rediscovered Archive from California in the Seventies". The New Yorker. 2019-08-24. Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  2. ^ a b "Michael Jang · SFMOMA". San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Archived from the original on 2019-06-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  3. ^ "Michael Jang's Instagram Feed Offers a Window into CalArts in the '70s". Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  4. ^ "Michael Jang's College Series is the Unofficial Yearbook for His Graduating Class". 2014-06-17. Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24 – via vice.com.
  5. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2019-09-20. Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  6. ^ "See Raunchy Photos from CalArts in the 1970s". 2014-07-16. Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  7. ^ "Asian Art Museum | Michael Jang". www.asianart.org. Archived from the original on 2019-08-25. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  8. ^ "Michael Jang: Summer Weather". Popular Photography. Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  9. ^ "Michael Jang's California | September 27, 2019 – January 18, 2020". Archived from the original on August 24, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  10. ^ "Iconic Photos from San Francisco's 70s Punk Scene". 2017-01-04. Archived from the original on 2019-08-05. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  11. ^ "Michael Jang: Family snapshots become fine art". 2008-11-10. Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  12. ^ "Punk Rock, DIY Access and Secret Success: The Photography of Michael Jang". Wired. 2009-10-21. Archived from the original on 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  13. ^ a b "Michael Jang photo installed above Clement Street to promote new retrospective exhibition – Richmond District Blog". Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  14. ^ "Michael Jang: The Jangs". 2015-06-05. Archived from the original on 2019-08-01. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  15. ^ "Meet the Brady Bunch, Asian-American style — courtesy of photographer Michael Jang". Public Radio International. Archived from the original on 2019-08-24. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
  16. ^ Coppelman, Alyssa. "America's Next Top Weather Reporter: 1980s Edition". Slate.com. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Who Is Michael Jang? by Michael Jang". Atelier Éditions. Archived from the original on 2019-10-03. Retrieved 2019-10-04.