My name is Johnny Tang, and I’m an emerging fine art photographer based in Brooklyn. I have a series of surreal and cinematic conceptual photos titled the “World of One.” This is a project I have been shooting on analog film for the last five years, with some images compiled from over a hundred scanned frames. The overarching goal of these images is to question which of our actions truly define us. You can click HERE to see how I created the following images.
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.
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 triggers the shutter on my mark. I chose to work in this fashion, because I find the color of analog film to be nostalgic of a bygone era. This has been crucial for making the dreamlike world I am presenting seem all the more familiar.
While the subject of these images are mainly inspired by my western education, especially in postmodern and existentialist philosophies. I draw my visual inspiration from my Asian heritage, such as Chinese scroll paintings or 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 coming together to create something new, and something uniquely Asian American.