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Bio

Michael Jang’s is a unique story. For the last forty years, he has earned a living as a portrait photographer, capturing iconic figures such as Jimi Hendrix, Ronald Reagan, and Robin Williams, among others. However, this unassuming Asian-American photographer has also been simultaneously infiltrating and documenting a number of groups and subcultures from all strata of society: 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 70s to the teenage garage bands of early 2000s San Francisco. His images are allegories of particular points in time, characterized by their candid honesty, decisiveness, and vivacity. SFMoMA has recently acquired a number of his early prints and has exhibited them alongside contemporaries such as Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, and Lee Friedlander.

Education

1977
MFA, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
1974
San Francisco Art Institute Summer Course with A.D. Coleman, and Ralph Gibson
1973
U.C. Berkeley Extension Summer Course with Lisette Model
1973
BFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

Solo Exhibitions

2012
Summer Weather, Inaugural Installation, Project Room, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
2009
Punks and Poets: SF Subculture in the 70s, Pirate Cat Radio, San Francisco, CA
2008
Garageband, Miesiac Fotografii W Krakowie (Photo Month in Krakow), Krakow, Poland
The Jangs, University High School, San Francisco, CA
1999
"Where do heroes go when they die?" Calumet Photographic Pro Center, San Francisco, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2013

Early Works, Curated by Laura Moya and Laura Valenti Jelen, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR

San Francisco Days, RayKo Photo, San Francisco, CA

2012

Picturing Modernity: Photographs from the Permanent Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks, Curated by Darius Himes and Larissa Leclair,
    Gallery Carte Blanche, San Francisco, CA, and FotoWeekDC Festival, Washington, DC

Remnants: Artists Respond to the Chinese American Experience, Chinese Historical Society of America, San Francisco,
    CA

2011
Garden of Eden, presented by Hamburger Eyes, Orf Bookstore, Paris, France
2010
Casual Abyss, presented by Hamburger Eyes, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, San Francisco, CA
The View From Here, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
2009
Part One: San Francisco Plays Itself, 35th Anniversary Celebration, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
Slideluck Potshow SF II, Guest Curator, LeftSpace Studio, San Francisco, CA
Trace Elements, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA
U Don't Like Me I Don't Like You, presented by Hamburger Eyes, O.H.W.O.W. Gallery, Miami, FL
2008
Hamburger Eye:  Inside Burgerworld, PowerHouse Books Arena, Brooklyn, NY
2005
James D. Phelan Art Award in Photography, Curator Sandra Phillips, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
2003
Picturing Modernity: Photographs from the Permanent Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
2002
The Ramones, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH

Collections

  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH
    National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY

Honors & Awards

2012

Shortlisted for First PhotoBook Award, Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards
Top 10 Indie Photo Books of the Year, Photo District News (PDN)

2011
Andy Warhol Foundation/Southern Exposure Grant, in conjunction with Owl & Tiger for the publication of Summer Weather
2005
Honorable Mention, James D. Phelan Art Award in Photography, San Francisco Foundation Arts Awards Program

Books /Monographs

2013
College, San Francisco:  Hamburger Eyes
2012
Summer Weather, Chapbook Edition of 750, San Francisco: Owl & Tiger Books
Summer Weather, Signed Edition of 25, San Francisco: Owl & Tiger Books
2011
Summer Weather, Special Edition of 15, San Francisco: Owl & Tiger Books
2010
One of a Kind, Zine, San Francisco: Hamburger Eyes

“This is the Place,” Volume One, San Francisco: Self-Published

2003
The Local Nine: A History of Baseball in Marysville California, San Francisco: Preston House Books

Artist Lectures

2012
“The Hopefuls,” Pop-Up Magazine: A Live Event No. 6, Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco, CA
2010
Bay Area Photographers Collective (BAPC), Harvey Milk Building/SF Photo Center, San Francisco, CA
“Jim Marshall,” Pop-Up Magazine: A Live Event No. 3, Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
2009
“Photography 2.0: The Business of Photography in the Digital Era,” Panelist, Photoshelter, San Francisco, CA

Bibliography

2013
Coppelman, Alyssa.  “America’s Next Top Weather Reporter:  1980s Edition.” Slate, 17 January 2013
2012
Atwood, Chris. “Burger Meister.” The Bold Italic, 1 February 2012

Esquire (Russia), Summer Weather and Mel Gibson, November 2012
Leclair, Larissa and Darius Himes.  A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks:  Selections from
    the Indie Photobook Library
.  Exhibition Catalog, 2012
Phung, Linh. “On the Topic of Vintage Photographs & Asian-American Photographer Michael Jang.” AA Limelight, 29
     May 2012

2011
Abbe, Dan. “Michael Jang: Summer Weather.” American Photo, 16 October 2011
Dear Dave, Beauty Contest, 2011 Swimsuit Issue
Nitsch, Peter. “One of a Kind Photographer Michael Jang.” Get Addicted To… 14 February 2011
Smithson, Aline. “Michael Jang: Summer Weather.” Lenscratch. 25 May 2011
2010
Bass, Paul. “Michael Jang: Black & White Photography.” We Are Selecters, 10 December 2010
Brook, Pete. “Photog Distinguishes Himself by Looking Just Like Google.” Wired: Raw File. 9 September 2010
“The Jangs,” OjodePez – Quarterly Documentary Magazine, Issue #20, Madrid
Smithson, Aline. “Michael Jang: The Rip Van Winkle of Photography.” Lenscratch. 30 September 2010
2009
Seibel, Brendan. “Punk Rock, DIY Access and Secret Success: The Photography of Michael Jang.” Wired: Raw File. 20 October 2009
2008
Hamlin, Jesse. “The fine art of family snapshots,” San Francisco Chronicle, Section E-1/E-5, 10 Nov 2008
Miesiac Fotografii W Krakowie (Photo Month in Krakow), Exhibition Catalog, Krakow, Poland
2007
Hamburger Eyes:  Inside Burgerworld, Brooklyn: powerHouse Books
Livebooks. “Michael Jang: Photographers in Focus Video Interview.” YouTube. 30 November 2007
2006
“Home Invasion,” URB (Sounds+Culture), Vol. 16, No. 140, October 2006
“The Way We Were: a family portrait in America during the ‘70s,” Theme Asian Culture Quarterly, Spring
“Western Union: Photos by Michael Jang,” PEACE Magazine, Moscow, Russia
2005
Chapin, Dwight. Book Review of “The Local Nine,” San Francisco Chronicle, Section D-2, 19 Aug 2005
2002
“The Kids Are Alright: the Garage Band Scene,” San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, 23 June 2002
1999
“Michael Jang: Where Do Heroes Go When They Die?” San Francisco Arts Monthly, September 1999
1999
“Visions of the West,” Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Volume 7, Number 2, May 1999
1996
Alcatraz, Carlos. “American Heroes: Michael Jang,” La Fotografia Actual, #58, Dec 1996/Jan 1997
Altieri, Michael. “South City Heroes,” San Francisco Examiner Magazine, 15 Dec 1996
1979
Search & Destroy: Future History, The Dils, Vol. 2, No. 11, San Francisco
1978
Creative Camera Collection 5, London: Coo Press Ltd
1974
Reynolds, Charles. “3 Student Portfolios,” Popular Photography, Volume 74, No. 5, May 1974