TSENG KWONG CHI (1950-1990)
Tseng Kwong Chi was a photographer, born in Hong Kong, educated in Canada and Paris, and eventually settled down in New York in the 1980s. He befriended many influential artists of the era, but most notably Keith Haring, with whom he collaborated on a book and many works. Haring was a graffiti artist and Tseng photographed him in the process of creating his paintings in the New York subway. Tseng is most well-known for his series of self-portraits, called the East Meets West series. He wore what he dubbed his “Mao costume,” designed to imitate the uniform of the infamous dictator, and a pair of sunglasses. He would then pose without expression or emotion alongside iconic landmarks around the world. These included the World Trade Center, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Disneyland, among others. He was considered to be a “performance photographer” and his work was recognized for its witty and playful, yet poignant social commentary.