PODCAST: A Photographic Life, Episode 119: Plus Photographer Michael Jang

In episode 119 UNP founder and curator Grant Scott is in his shed considering the pyramid scheme of photography, photo gambling and pressing the video button. He also suggests buying a kid a camera!

Plus this week photographer Michael Jang takes on the challenge of supplying Grant with an audio file no longer than 5 minutes in length in which he answer’s the question ‘What Does Photography Mean to You?’

For the last forty years, Michael Jang has earned a living as a portrait photographer, capturing iconic figures such as Jimi Hendrix, Robin Williams, and William Burroughs, among others. However, he has also been simultaneously infiltrating and documenting subcultures: from celebrity parties in Beverly Hills to the youth of Castro’s Cuba, from South City gangs to Old West rodeos, and from the punk rock scene of the late 1970s to the teenage garage bands of the early 2000s. Jang was born in Marysville, California in 1951 and studied at CalArts in Los Angeles, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1973. While at CalArts, Jang photographed the student environment and in 2014  published the work in a book titled College. During his time at CalArts he used fake press credentials to access events and parties at The Beverly Hilton hotel, where he photographed a range of people from the unknown to famous musicians and politicians. In the late 1970s, he moved to San Francisco, where he received an MFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. Jang continued to pursue creative projects while earning a living as a commercial photographer in San Francisco and was relatively unknown as an artist until 2002, when the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art acquired several of his photographs. His personal projects include the 1973 series The Jangs that documents the assimilation of his Asian-American family and his 1983 series Summer Weather documenting auditioning weather reporters. In 2019 the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts staged a retrospective exhibition of his work and the same year, Atelier Editions published a retrospective monograph of his work titled Who is Michael Jang? www.michaeljang.com

You can see a film of Jang’s exhibition at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0xPtDNK5HY

You can also access and subscribe to these podcasts at SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/unofphoto on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/a-photographic-life/id1380344701 on Player FM https://player.fm/series/a-photographic-life and Podbean www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/i6uqx-6d9ad/A-Photographic-Life-Podcast

Grant Scott is the founder/curator of United Nations of Photography, a Senior Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator: Photography at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, a working photographer, and the author of Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained (Routledge 2014)The Essential Student Guide to Professional Photography (Taylor Francis 2015)New Ways of Seeing: The Democratic Language of Photography (Taylor Francis 2019). His next book What Does Photography Mean to You? will be published in 2021.

His documentary film, Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay can now be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wd47549knOU&t=3915s.

© Grant Scott 2020


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: