Jason Tannen Visual Culture: Photographing Chinatown OCTOBER 10 – 26, 2013
Event: Classic City Films | October 17, 7:30pm
Jason Tannen is a photographer, filmmaker, gallery curator, and teacher. He received his B.F.A. in photography from Tyler School of Art and his M.F.A. in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1998, he has been the curator at the University Art Gallery at California State University, Chico, where he has also taught Film as Visual Art and the History of Photography. He has exhibited his work widely, with exhibitions and screenings both in the U.S. and internationally.
Since 1978, Tannen's work has explored the urban landscape, with extended explorations of Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Paris, and San Francisco. For the past 3 years, he has been photographing in San Francisco’s Chinatown district. This dense urban panorama of teeming streets, rising buildings and narrow alleyways is also a visual and cultural caldron of contradictions. East meets west with the combination of early 20th century architecture, complex storefront facades, and a mélange of window displays.
Tannen’s photographs make use of architectural detail, natural and artificial light, and direct and reflected subjects. Cars, storefronts and pictorial representations serve as both extensions of and stand-ins for people, who are mostly absent from the scene. Typically, he photographs in the early hours of the morning or on weekends, when shops are closed and the streets are deserted.