Aladdin’s Lamp, The Photography of Michael Jang
Michael Jang’s is a unique story.
For the last 40 years, he’s 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 the 2000s in 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 exhibited them alongside contemporaries such as Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, and Lee Friedlander.
We caught up with Michael and asked him about his Leica, which he refers to as his “Aladdin’s lamp”. Here is what he said:
“I was looking at this picture of my old Leica and realized it has been as powerful to me as Aladdin’s lamp. I have taken so many great images with it over the decades.”
Want to stay up to date with Michael Jang’s amazing photography? Be sure to follow his awesome Instagram feed HERE! Guaranteed to inspire!