A Magnum Photographer’s Forthcoming Book Captures a Life of Frequent Travel
Chang’s past projects have included portraits of inmates at a mental asylum in Taiwan, a series exploring a bride-selling business in Vietnam, and a 23-year-long investigation of New York’s Chinatown. In the spirit of
The television that appears in Yangoon (2010), presumably situated in a hotel room, glows brightly—a testament to Chang’s ability to draw out long exposure times. The effect is striking. Not only does the burst of light erase any human presence from the screen, but it strips the environment of much of its detailed context. Curtains billowing eerily on either side of the television are the sole suggestion of movement or figurative detail in the frame.
Taipeh (2008) makes up for Yangoon’s omission of details. The mise-en-scène: stacks of foreign currencies, a cell phone, a pill container, Chinese and American passports, a Toblerone bar, and a set of keys. This tableau tells a transcontinental story—one that the viewer soon realizes is autobiographical (a photo ID of the artist appears center-left). The specificity of subject and