A patriot with a Ukrainian flag pin. Lviv, Ukraine, 21 August 2022.
Chien-Chi Chang manifests in his work 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 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 the 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 immigration 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
2022 The Foundation for Excellent Journalism Special Contribution Award, Taiwan
2021 TECO Humanities lifetime achievement award, Taiwan 1998 First Place, Daily Life, World Press Photo, Amsterdam 1998 Visa d’Or, Visa Pour L’image, Perpignan, France 1998 Magazine Photographer of the Year, NPPA, USA 1999 W. Eugene Smith Grant, W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund for Humanistic Photography, USA 2003 First Place, Best Photography Book (The Chain), Pictures of the Year International, USA
2018Interior Lives, Museum of the City of New York, New York 2018 Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea 2018 The Cube Space Project, Taipei, Taiwan 2018 Chi-Wen Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan 2013 National Taipei University of Education, Taipei, Taiwan
2013 Museum of Contemporary Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
2012 International Center of Photography, New York City, USA
2009 National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
2008 National Museum of Singapore, Singapore
2006The Chain, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, USA
2004 Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA 2004The Chain, Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales
2002 São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo, Brazil
2001 Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2001 Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
1999 The Alternative Museum, New York City, USA
2015 Jet Lag (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, Germany) 2008 Doubleness: Photography of Chang Chien-Chi (Editions Didier Millet and National Museum of Singapore, Singapore) 2008 Les Grands Photographe de Magnum Photos: Chien-Chi Chang (Hachette, France) 2005 Double Happiness (Aperture, USA) 2002 The Chain (Trolley, UK) 2001 I do I do I do (Premier Foundation, Taiwan) 2001 The Chain: Photographs by Chien-Chi Chang (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan)
2017AZMA 2017Burma: The Promise Betrayed 2017The War That Never Was 2014Thalerhof 2014On The Road 2014Side Chain 2011China Town 2011Bongo Fever 2011Burmese Days 2009Escape from North Korea 2007Empty Orchestra