Chien-Chi Chang’s photography and films explore the abstract concepts of alienation and connection. His investigation of the ties that bind one person to another draws on his own deeply divided immigrant experience as he explores the contrasting themes of hope and darkness, restriction and freedom.
He has documented people in fearful uncertainty: internally displaced Rohingya in Myanmar, the European refugee crisis, the war in Ukraine, Hong Kong democracy activists, and North Korean defectors escaping through China and Laos to Thailand and South Korea.
This purgatory is something Chien-Chi Chang (b.1961 Taiwan) knows intimately. Chang received his bachelor's degree from Soochow University in 1984 and his master's from Indiana University in 1990. He began his career as a photojournalist at the Seattle Times in 1991. He joined Magnum Photos in 1995, becoming a full member in 2001. For decades, Chang has photographed the bifurcated lives of Chinese immigrants in New York along with those of their families back home in Fujian, China. China Town was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2009 and the International Center of Photography in 2012. In recent years Chang has begun to include sound and moving images in his museum exhibitions. which have enriched his narratives. “Still images can be moving, and moving images can be still,” he says. “Both meet within a soundscape.”
Chang joined Magnum in 1995 and became a full member in 2001.