new-york

Tseng Kwong Chi

Semaphore Gallery

Dressed in a severe Mao suit (complete with photo ID clipped to the flap of a breast pocket), with his hair closely cropped and dark glasses hiding his eyes, Tseng Kwong Chi transforms himself into the essential representative of the faceless hordes of Asia—or at least of the China of a decade or so ago. In this guise he photographs himself in situations where the presence of such an icon is either expected (at the United Nations, say) or absurd—he also poses with New York street people, and with Mickey Mouse at Disney World. In the poster-sized black and white photos here, all from 1983, he juxtaposes his monumental persona with a variety of architectural landmarks, mostly European—the House of Lords, Tower Bridge, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame. In two of the pictures he poses in front of structures in New England—a white-steepled church and a covered bridge; while neither is familiar in

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