Chien-Chi Chang




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
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

selected exhibitions

2018  Interior 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
2012  Chi-Wen Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2012  The Cube Project Space, Taipei, Taiwan
2011  Museum of Cultures, Basel, Switzerland
2009  Foreign Affairs, Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy
2009  National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
2008  National Museum of Singapore, Singapore
2006  The Chain, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio, USA
2004  Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
2004  The 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

Selected publications

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)

video works

2017  AZMA
2017  Burma: The Promise Betrayed
2017  The War That Never Was
2014  Thalerhof
2014  On The Road
2014  Side Chain
2011  China Town
2011  Bongo Fever
2011  Burmese Days
2009  Escape from North Korea
2007  Empty Orchestra