Michael Jang: Who Is Michael Jang?

Sandra Phillips (Text by (Art/Photo Books)) Kingston Trinder (Text by (Art/Photo Books))
& 3 more


"Who is Michael Jang? I don't know if he's a hipster or a nerd, a conceptual genius or instinctual savant. All I know is that he takes some of the best pictures I've ever seen." -Alec Soth

San Francisco-based photographer Michael Jang spent nearly four decades working as a successful commercial portrait photographer. Unbeknownst to the world, however, he was simultaneously assembling a vast archive of thousands of remarkable images documenting, variously: college days, Hollywood celebrities, would-be weather presenters, San Francisco street scenes, his family, Bay Area punks and adolescent garage bands. Jang revealed nothing of his ever-expanding, eclectic archive for almost 40 years until 2001, when he submitted a number of images for consideration to San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art. Jang's work attracted immediate acclaim, and for the past decade he has continued to unveil his considerable oeuvre in national and international exhibitions and monographs.

The photographer's first major monograph, Who Is Michael Jang? highlights Jang's most important bodies of work. Introduced by his longtime collaborator and SFMOMA curator emerita of photography, Sandra Phillips, this volume offers readers a long-overdue introduction to Jang's incredible images.

Michael Jang (born 1951) has practiced photography in San Francisco for more than 50 years. After decades of successful commercial portraiture, Jang began to revisit the vast archive of unseen, spontaneous images he has amassed, many of which betray the influence of celebrated street photographers such as Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand and Lisette Model.

Product Details

$65.00  $59.80
Atelier Editions
Publish Date
September 17, 2019
9.7 X 1.3 X 12.1 inches | 4.1 pounds

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About the Author

Michael Jang, RHCE, LPIC-2, UCP, LCP, Linux+, MCP is currently a Senior Technical Writer for ForgeRock. He has written numerous books on Linux certification, including LPIC-1 in Depth, Mike Meyers' Linux+ Certification Passport, and Sair GNU/Linux Installation and Configuration Exam Cram. He is also the author of RHCSA/RHCE Red Hat Linux Certification Practice Exams with Virtual Machines.

Alessandro Orsaria, RHCE, RHCA, CCIE x 2, is an IT professional with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He has authored articles for technical Linux magazines and is currently employed by a global equity hedge fund as an IT Infrastructure Architect.


Who is Michael Jang? I don't know if he's a hipster or a nerd, a conceptual genius or instinctual savant. All I know is that he takes some of best pictures I've ever seen.--Alec Soth "Photographer "
These photos are an incredible time capsule of American life in 70s and 80s California as seen through Michael Jang's witty, inquisitive, and offbeat eyes.--Ed Templeton "Photographer "
Michael Jang is a hero of mine. He was there photographing all the early movements that altered the foundation of my life.--Barry McGee "Artist "
Jang is an enigma, always at the right place at the right time in history. He is a true fly on the wall, disappearing & observing, waiting for the candid moments.--Ryan McGuinley "Photographer "
The photographer's first major monograph, Who Is Michael Jang? highlights Jang's most important bodies of work.--Marvin Maddix "FGUK "
Who is Michael Jang? offers a compacted collection of his most important work, delving into the world of a true original.--Toby Orton "Plain Magazine "
The new monograph Who Is Michael Jang? looks at the curious and covert career of photographer Michael Jang.--PDN
The new McEvoy exhibition ... explores Jang's career as a portrait and street photographer in California, concentrating on his early work as he was discovering the medium.--Sara Bacon "Richmond District "
There's something to admire in how technically precise Jang is in working in black and white -- he seems to understand intuitively the depth of a picture before he even takes it.--Thessaly La Force "New York Times: Style "
The more Jang images the scene, the more you have fun trying to reverse-engineer his process.--Pat Padua "Spectrum Culture "
Jang's images have a subtle allure that keeps you coming back. Sometimes you see something new, sometimes it's a matter of trying to unpack what the hell makes you so drawn to the photo.--Mark Murrmann "Mother Jones "
The pictures are hilarious, absurd, fond, empathetic, and unaffected.--Johnathan Griffin "Financial Times "
A distillation, often comical, sometimes nostalgic, of the the 'American way of life, ' as taste-tested by this Asian family that seems to have embraced the delights of western capitalism with gusto.--Clémentine Goldszal "Le Monde "
What comes across throughout the book and the work itself is the warmth of the photographer and his fascination with the people and things that surrounded him - but, above all, his remarkably contemporary style of photography.--Elizabeth Roberts "Black + White "
Where Jang's photography sets itself apart is its idiosyncratic sense of humour. Playful and candid, Jang's approached the medium with irreverence...--Belle Hutton "AnOther "
The hefty Who Is Michael Jang?, the artist's first monograph, makes a case for Jang's place in twentieth-century photography nearly fifty years after he began making pictures.--Stephen Hilger "BOMB "
Jang's images are ... at once both incredibly candid and often so perfectly odd that on first glance you think they must have been staged.--Rachael Steven "Creative Review "
Utterly banal yet extraordinarily absurd, ... Michael Jang's images ... balance a combination of what seem to be strategically placed clues amid barely controlled chaos.--Laura Andre "Photo Eye "
Jang's images were mischievous and quirky, full of visual jokes about how the rich and famous and the freaks and burnouts weren't all that different from one another. In the years since, Jang has spent more time digging through his archives. The result is a stunning monograph, "Who Is Michael Jang?"--Hua Hsu "New Yorker "
[Michael Jang's] deeply funny and idiosyncratic images [are] of suburbs, celebrities, and California in the 1970s.--Will Matsuda "Aperture "
Jang's "rediscovery" has a lot to do with his talent, but it also has to do with a more hospitable cultural moment.--Madeline Coleman "New York Review of Books "