At home with the Jangs, the 'Chinese Brady Bunch'
Updated: 2013-05-10 11:18
By Kelly Chung Dawson in New York (China Daily)
Jang took photos of his family and friends in their suburban home. Photo provided to China Daily
In the summer of 1973, a college student named Michael Jang took a photography workshop in San Francisco. His classroom assignments required that he take photos of the people around him, and his Chinese-American family quickly became his favorite subject.
He found inspiration in the intimacy and humor of their ordinary lives, as they set off fireworks on July 4, played with pets and simply sat around their suburban home.
In the intervening decades, the negatives for those photos sat in boxes as Jang went on to become a professional photographer, working with notable names such as Ronald Reagan and Jimi Hendrix.
But this month the images that he created 40 years ago are finally being recognized in a new exhibition titled "The Jangs" at Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco.
"Someone saw these photos and asked me, 'Is your family nuts?'" Jang joked in an interview with China Daily. "And the answer is 'Yes', but in all fairness if someone else had come into our family and photographed us it would have been a completely different tone. It was my vision and experience of that reality, and this is definitely one of those exhibitions that'll make you smile and even laugh. I mean, there's a shag rug in the bathroom, for god's sake."