“In 1983, a local TV station held a contest for anyone who wanted a chance at reporting the weather. My role was to take head shots of contestants after each screen test. Five winners were chosen out of nearly one hundred applicants. The pictures were never used, but I developed the negatives anyway (without proofing them). These images had been lost until recently and I am seeing them for the very first time.”—Michael Jang
Summer Weather is a visually arresting book. Each photograph appears in full on the page, focusing the viewer's attention to these individuals. Careful viewing allows the subtle nuances of their unique character to seep in; hairstyles, facial expressions, emotional values. They become real, if not just hilarious, people. We become invested.
About the Artist:
Michael Jang is an established photographer who has always had an eye for recognizing and capturing the defining moments of his generation. Well known for his commercial photography and portraiture of notable figures from the 70s and 80s—including William Burroughs, Alice Walker, Jimi Hendrix, and Frank Sinatra, among others—Jang’s work is recently resurfacing in a new light. SFMOMAs recently acquired several of his early prints from the series The Jangs, in which he tells the story of his Asian family trying to assimilate into the suburban American mainstream of the 70s. Although he has been described as a social realist influenced by Robert Frank, Jang admits that he isn’t always thinking about documenting the historical significance of his subjects while he is shooting. It is only after the passing of time that he is able to look back at his photographs from decades past and see their humor and significance within their social and historical context. Consciously or not, Jang has an uncanny intuition for recognizing and capturing particular everyday moments that will go on to become artful allegories of a particular point in time. The fact that his photos are taken unassumingly, and are not tainted by the ego or bias of an artist with a grandiose agenda, allows images to speak for themselves with the candid truthfulness, accuracy, and vivacity that is characteristic of his work.
About the Publisher:
Owl & Tiger Books was founded in March 2011. Seeing there was a void for talented local emerging artists to have their work published and promoted, we took matters into our own hands, literally. It started with the behind-the-scenes photography book Remigration for local filmmaker Barry Jenkins’ short film for the Future State series for ITVS. Realizing we could curate and publish work of artists we felt were not well represented, we embarked on a mission to bring these projects to the light of day and into the hands of viewers. Since our founding, we have had our work selected for inclusion in highly curated fine art photo book libraries, exhibited as part of a fine art photo book exhibition at the Corcoran, and won a 2011 Southern Exposure: Alternative Exposure grant.
For Further Information:
This event is free to the public, and books will be available for purchase.
6 - 9 pm