At home with the Jangs, the 'Chinese Brady Bunch'

Updated: 2013-05-10 11:18

By Kelly Chung Dawson in New York (China Daily)

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 At home with the Jangs, the 'Chinese Brady Bunch'

A photo showing Michael Jang's family members in glasses. The exhibition of photos taken by Jang 40 years ago is a portrayal of a Chinese-American family's American dream. Provided to China Daily

Wirtz compared Jang's photographs to those of the renowned street photographer Garry Winogrand, whose work is coincidentally on exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Winogrand's work is noted for its informal snapshot-style documentation of everyday life.

But seeing the two exhibitions in tandem also makes their differences apparent, Wirtz said. While Winogrand focused on the expression of a certain alienation of the times, Jang's work is a celebration of human connection, he said.

Jang hopes that his photos will prove important for their documentation of the Chinese-American experience. He expects to release more photos in the next few years, he said.

"I want people to see that no matter what land our ancestors originally came from, we are here now and we're Americans," he said.

Although his family has naturally become a little less Chinese with each generation, he has always been conscious of his heritage, he said. That link is most evident in his lifelong study of tai chi. He spent a year in his 20s studying the art in Taiwan.

"The philosophy and practice of tai chi makes me feel deeply connected to Chinese culture," he said. "It's this quiet power. When you practice it, you become centered; you can eliminate distractions, and focus whether you're simply talking to someone or in my case, taking a photograph."

The Jangs exhibition runs until July 13.

(China Daily 05/10/2013 page11)

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