If you’re a regular at The Phoblographer, you’ll know we’ve shed some extra light on the Asian American photographers we love this month. From the powerful work of Michelle Watt to the cutting-edge creativity of Andrew Kung, we’ve had nothing but fun sharing high-quality photographic stories with our readers. Every weekend we’ve brought you someone new, and in this piece we’re going to bring them all together and share our favorite photographers of the Asian American month 2022.
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Cameras used by some of the best Asian American photographers
For gear gurus, please enjoy a roundup of the gear used by photographers in this room. Some of them will include links so you can buy the cameras you like. If you do, The Phoblographer gets a little cookie crumble, which helps us keep doing what we do best.
Vietnamese American photographer Teresa Hoang creates beautiful images of people within her community. “…I tend to think they’re part of my life already,” Hoang says of his subjects in a recent interview with The Phoblographer. We love Hoang’s work because she mixes portraits with candid frames, filling her portfolio with a compelling mix of imagery. Still a student, there is no doubt in our minds that Hoang has a bright future ahead of her. Read the interview here.
Andrew Kung’s work is fresh and full of creative flavors. It’s gentle yet edgy, and it calms us to the point that we feel in an optimal Zen state. When asked where his inspiration came from, he told us, “If you look at any of my mood or inspiration boards, I refer to films by Wong Kar Wai, Edward Yang, to 1900s fashion photography and even contemporary documentary photography. There is definitely a lot of influence. However, he managed to find his unique voice and developed a style that is uniquely his. Take a look at the interview here.
It’s been a tough few years since the pandemic hit. Although we have come a long way since the early days of lockdown, there is still a lot of work to do and many voices to hear. Sandeep MV, a photographer hospitalized due to COVID-19, decided to put his photographic energy into a mask-focused project. “As someone who has suffered both mentally and physically, I know how important prevention is rather than cure. I can say this – ‘Today I feel naked without wearing a mask,’ wrote MV This is a tough series that is sure to be polarizing Read our interview here.
Michelle Watt shows incredible attention to detail in her image creation. Not one to take the easy route, Watt spends a lot of time making sure his scenes are crafted to perfection before he starts making frames. Beyond his level of detail, Watt dives deep into his mind to develop his ideas. “I think my conceptual frameworks usually come from something very personal, like elaborating on past trauma,” she told The Phoblographer. His impressive portraits have been featured in magazines like TIME and Vogue; it’s no surprise why. You can read our interview here.
Zayira Ray has a job that most seasoned pros would be proud to have. She is a portrait photographer on paper, but she does not create standard portraits. Instead, she creates images rich in unity and tender, empathetic closeness. Through her work, Ray hopes to break down the traditional barriers that have kept Asian women in positions of struggle and hardship. She said of it, “I think part of our liberation as Asian women and women of color is to carve out space and time to just rest. To treat, to feed ourselves and our communities, to imagine a future for ourselves that we want – whatever that may look like” You can read our interview here.
Kennetha Brown is a 22-year-old Cambodian-American photographer based in Providence. Her photographs explore the complex lives of others in her community. “Photographs of your community inspire unity,” Brown wrote in her recent post. And she is right because when we look at her photographs we see a strong sense of unity, something that only a person with her talents can achieve. You can read our interview here.
We’re sure you enjoyed this roundup of the best Asian American photographers in 2022. Next month, The Phoblographer will focus on the LGBTQAI+ community by bringing you the best self-identifying photographers. Thanks for reading.
Principal photo by Michelle Watt. All images used with permission.