hong-kong

Tseng Kwong Chi, New York, New York, 1979, gelatin silver print, 20 × 16". From the series “East Meets West,” 1979–89.

Tseng Kwong Chi

Ben Brown Fine Arts | Hong Kong

Tseng Kwong Chi, New York, New York, 1979, gelatin silver print, 20 × 16". From the series “East Meets West,” 1979–89.

The image of Tseng Kwong Chi dressed in a Mao suit, wearing Ray-Bans, and posing for a self-portrait in front of the World Trade Center for his photograph New York, New York, 1979, is undeniably iconic. After all, selfies were not yet a thing back then—and the twin towers represented a kind of optimism. Rendered in black-and-white, the picture was shot from a low angle. As Tseng gazes upward, light glinting off his sunglasses, his face takes on the same kind of sun-kissed metallic sheen of the monolithic structures rising into the clear sky behind him. The image forms part of the artist’s “Expeditionary Self-Portrait Series,” 1979–89, in which Tseng photographed himself in front of landmarks around the world—from the Great Buddha of Kamakura in Japan to the Eiffel Tower—always wearing the same suit. In many of his self-portraits, he wears an identity tag with the

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