mum & mom


© Hee Jin Kang 2010

c. 1995

c. 2001

summer floaters


Two months ago, I quit a temp job that was making me unhappy.  Temporary workers at this firm were called floaters, yeah I know, that scatological reference, hardy har har, I’ve heard it already.

Anyway, I couldn’t be happier to be free from that job job.

This post is for all the floaters and working stiffs out there – summer’s upon us, I hope you get a chance to take a cool dip in a cold lake soon.

© Tom Hunter
© Dru Donovan
© Shane Lavalette
© Alessandra Sanguinetti
© Jerome Icardo

Several of the above photographs were found on Flak Photo – check it out.

it’s official


The Office of the President Elect (a.k.a. has released the new official portrait for President Barack Obama (press release).


Seriously, I think he’s smiling at me, really!  What a flirt!

Photographed by Pete Souza.  Apparently it’s the first time an official presidential portrait was taken with a digital camera. Wooo…

buck it



Photographer Richard Renaldi recently announced a new publishing venture called Charles Lane Press on his blog.   I’m really looking forward to seeing the first publication Fall River Boys. It is Richard’s second monograph, following his successful first book of mostly portraiture, Figure and Ground.

The constant barrage of bad economic news was making me feel really gloomy.  How refreshing to see an artist bucking the trend and doing something really ambitious!  With behemoth publishing houses scaling back, and newspapers and magazines folding all around us, it is reassuring to witness artists following their passions.

Sign up on the Charles Lane Press mailing list here!

In similar news, photographers Jake Chessum, Christopher Griffith and Christian Weber have set up Auditorium Editions to publish their own monographs.  Once again, a self-funded endeavor!  Andrew Hetherington, aka Jackanory, has a really good interview with the three photographers on his blog here.



Jörg‘s show opens on Thursday night at Michael Mazzeo Gallery. See you there!


526 W. 26 Street, Suite 209
6pm – 8pm

happy hour


tagametIf you have any Asian friends (and who doesn’t? ha!), you’ve probably heard of Asian Flush, Asian Glow, or some variation.  Basically, if your body can’t break down the alcohol you’re chugging, you turn bright red.  It’s got something to do with an enzyme – acetaldehyde dehydrogenase – not doing its job.  Here’s the wikipedia link if you’re curious.  Specifically, “half of people of Asian descent are considered to be sensitive to alcohol due to this condition.”

You can find online discussions and forums all over the internet about the tribulations of drunken red-faced Asians.

Well count me in that special 50%.  And let me tell you, it sucks to turn violently red from drinking alcohol, especially at brightly-lit socially-fraught gallery openings.  Usually I try to avoid the cheap white wine because it’s just not worth it.  But if you know me, you know I am a consistently reliable imbiber of alcohol.  And if you know me really well, you know I am always packing Tagamet.

Tagamet is an over-the-counter drug for treating heartburn and it seems to lessen the effects of Asian Flush.  I don’t ask why, I just accept it as a minor miracle.  But it’s pretty hit or miss.  Sometimes Tagamet fails me and my face turns tomato-red and blotchy.  But when it works, it works really well and I look like I’ve just caught some sun.  When I share my Tagamet secret to other Asians, they all tell me the same thing: “this stuff has changed my life.”  Yes I know.  

I worked on a photo project a few years back about Asian Flush:

© Hee Jin Kang, “Happy Hour (Hee Jin)”
© Hee Jin Kang, “Happy Hour (Indri)”

Photos were taken in between many shots of vodka sans Tagamet.  The self-portrait was especially amusing to shoot, or at least I thought so.  I think I might revisit the project in a different form.

Know any Asians who get red drinking alcohol?

exit queen


I love photographs of the backs of heads – tres enigmatic. I spotted this image of the Queen somewhere (can’t remember exactly where and didn’t keep the link info!) on the Observer website and was entranced:

© Toby Melville/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Backs of heads always remind me of:

© Gerhard Richter

more from red wing


All photographs © Hee Jin Kang 2008



William A. Ewing, the Director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, edited Face: The New Photographic Portrait and now it’s available in paperback.

Thanks to my friend for the link to The Independent’s (a UK newspaper) review that mentions my photograph in the book:

Reviewed by Christopher Hirst
Friday, 25 July 2008

… Many of the images are jarring. This is only to be expected with the surgically implanted “horns” of the French artist Orian or Hee Jin Kang’s portrait of a lip-glossed mouth surrounded by a sprouting beard. But one of the most disturbing pictures in the book is the literally defaced photograph of a Bosnian family found when they returned to their Serb-occupied house in Sarajevo.

Cool. You can order the book on amazon.

And this is my photo that was included in the book and in the Face shows curated by Mr. Ewing:

© Hee Jin Kang