In his work, Chien-Chi Chang makes manifest the abstract concepts of alienation and connection. “The Chain,” a collection of portraits made in a mental asylum in Taiwan, caused a sensation when it was shown at La Biennale di Venezia (2001) and the Bienal de Sao Paolo (2002). The shocking, nearly life-sized photographs of pairs of patients literally chained together resonate with Chang’s jaundiced look at the less visible bonds of marriage. He has treated marital ties in two books—I do I do I do (2001), a collection of images depicting alienated grooms and brides in Taiwan, and in Double Happiness (2005), a brutal depiction of the business of selling brides in Vietnam. The ties of family and of culture are also the themes of an ambitious project begun in 1992. For 21 years, Chang has photographed and videoed the bifurcated lives of Chinese immigrants in New York’s Chinatown, along with those of their wives and families back home in Fujian. Still a work in progress, “China Town” was hung at the National Museum of Singapore in 2008 as part of a mid-career survey and at La Biennale di Venezia (2011) as well as at International Center of Photography, New York (2012). Chang’s investigation of the ties that bind one person to another draws on his own deeply divided immigrant experience in the United States.
Chang joined Magnum Photos in 1995 and was elected as a full member in 2001. He lives in Graz, Austria.
AWARDS | Recognitions
1998: First Place, Daily Life, World Press Photo, Amsterdam.
1998: Visa d’Or, Visa Pour L’image, Perpignan.
1998: Magazine Photographer of the Year, NPPA, USA.
1999: W. Eugene Smith Grant, W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund for Humanistic Photography, New York.
2003: First Place, Best of Photography Book (The Chain), Pictures of the Year International, USA.Exhibitions (a selection)
1999 The Alternative Museum, New York City.
2001 Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.
2001 Venice Biennale, Venice.
2002 São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo.
2004 Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida.
2004 Fotogallery, Cardiff.
2006 Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio.
2008 National Museum of Singapore, Singapore.
2009 National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung.
2009 Venice Biennial, Venice.
2011 Museum of Cultures / Museum der Kulturen, Basel.
2012 The Cube Project Space, Taipei.
2012 Chi-Wen Gallery, Taipei.
2012 International Center of Photography, New York City.
2013 Museum of Contemporary Arts, Taipei.
2013 Museum of National Taipei University of Education, National Taipei University of Education, Taipei.2018: Museum of City of New York, New York.
2018: Total Museum of Contemporary, Seoul.
2018: TheCube Space Project, Taipei.
2018: Chi-Wen Gallery, Taipei.
2007: Empty Orchestra
2009: Escape from North Korea
2011: Burmese Days.
2011: Bongo Fever
2011: China Town
2014: Side Chain
2014: On The Road
2017: The War That Never Was
2017: Burma: The Promise Betrayed
a selection The Chain: Photographs by Chien-Chi Chang. Taipei: Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2001. ISBN957-02-7463-8 I do I do I do. Taipei: Premier Foundation, 2001. ISBN 957-97817-2-9. The Chain. London: Trolley, 2002. ISBN 0-9542079-5-5. Double Happiness. New York, NY: Aperture, 2005. ISBN 1-931788-56-1. Les Grands Photographe de Magnum Photos: Chien-Chi Chang. Paris: Hachette, 2008. Doubleness: Photography of Chang Chien-Chi. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet and National Museum of Singapore, 2008. ISBN 978-981-05-9658-3. Jet Lag. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2015. ISBN 978-3-7757-4025-8