If you’re a regular ready of The Phoblographer, you will know that we have put extra light on Asian American photographers that we adore this month. From the powerful work of Michelle Watt to the cutting-edge creativity of Andrew Kung, we’ve enjoyed nothing but pleasure from sharing some high-quality photography stories with our readership. Each weekend we have brought you someone new, and in this piece, we’re going to bring them all together and share our favorite photographers from Asian American Month 2022.
Cameras Used by Some of The Best Asian American Photographers
For the gear gurus, please enjoy a round-up of the gear used by the photographers in this piece. Some of them will include links so you can buy the cameras you like. If you do, The Phoblographer gets a small crumble of the cookie, which helps us to keep doing what we do best.
Vietnamese American photographer Teresa Hoang creates beautiful imagery of people within her community. “…I tend to think of them already being a part of my life,” says Hoang when referencing her subjects during a recent interview with The Phoblographer. We like Hoang’s work because she blends portraits with candid frames, filling her portfolio with a compelling mixture of images. Still only a student, there’s no doubt in our minds that Hoang has a bright future ahead of her. Read the interview here.
Andrew Kung’s work feels fresh and full of creative flavors. It’s gentle yet edgy, and it calms us to the point we feel like we are in the optimum state of zen. When asked where his inspiration comes from, he told us, “If you look at any of my mood boards or inspiration boards, I’m referencing films by Wong Kar Wai, Edward Yang, 1900s fashion photography, and even contemporary documentary photography.” There’s undoubtedly plenty of influence. However, he’s managed to find his unique voice and has developed a style that belongs only to him. Take a look at the interview here.
It has been a tough few years since the pandemic hit. While we have moved forward since the early days of lockdown, there’s still plenty of work to do and many voices to be heard. Sandeep MV, a photographer, hospitalized due to COVID-19, decided to put his photographic energy into a project that focuses on masks. “As a person who has suffered both mentally and physically, I know how important it is to be safe than sorry. I can say this – “Today, I feel naked without wearing a mask,” wrote MV. It’s a challenging series that’s sure to be polarizing. Read our interview here.
Michelle Watt boasts incredible attention to detail with her image-making. Not one to take the easy route, Watt spends plenty of time ensuring her scenes are designed to perfection before she starts making frames. Beyond her level of detail, Watt delves deep into her mind to develop her ideas. “I think my conceptual frameworks usually come from something very personal, like working out past traumas,” she told The Phoblographer. Her impressive portraiture has been featured in the likes of TIME and Vogue; it’s no surprise why. You can read our interview here.
Zayira Ray has a body of work that most seasoned pros would be proud to have. She is a portrait photographer on paper, but by no means does she create standard portraits. Instead, she creates images rich in unity and tender, empathetic comings together. Through her work, Ray hopes to break down traditional barriers that have held Asian women in positions of struggle and hardship. She said on the topic, “I think part of our liberation as Asian women and women of color is carving out the space and time to simply rest. To process, to nurture ourselves and our communities, to imagine a future for ourselves that we want— whatever that may look like” You can read our interview here.
Kannetha Brown is a 22-year-old Cambodian-American photographer based in Providence. Her photography explores the intricate lives of other people in her community. “Photographs of your community inspire unity,” wrote Brown in her recent feature. And she’s right because when we view her photographs, we see a strong sense of togetherness, something only someone with her talents can achieve. You can read our interview here.
We’re sure you enjoyed this round-up of the best Asian American photographers in 2022. Next month The Phoblographer will shift its focus to the LGBTQAI+ community bringing you the best photographers who identify as such. Thanks for reading.
Lead photo by Michelle Watt. All images used with permission.