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September 15, 2019

Stunning Photos of Self Portraits by Tseng Kwong Chi in the Late 1970s and ‘80s

Born 1950, Hong Kong-born American photographer Tseng Kwong Chi  was active in the East Village art scene in the 1980s. He is the brother of dancer/choreographer Muna Tseng.

Self portraits by Tseng Kwong Chi

Tseng was part of a circle of artists in the 1980s New York art scene including Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Cindy Sherman. He took tens of thousands of photographs of New York graffiti artist Keith Haring throughout the 1980s working on murals, installations and the subway

Tseng's most famous body of work is his self-portrait series, East Meets West, also called the "Expeditionary Series". In the series, Tseng dressed in what he called his "Mao suit" and sunglasses (dubbed a "wickedly surrealistic persona" by the New York Times) and photographed himself situated, often emotionlessly, in front of iconic tourist sites. These included the Statue of Liberty, Cape Canaveral, Disney Land, Notre Dame de Paris, and the World Trade Center.

Tseng died of AIDS-related illness in 1990. His work is in the public collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

These stunning photos are part of his work that Tseng took his self portraits in 1979 and the 1980s.

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, 1979

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, 1979

Disney Land, California, 1979

Disneyland, Anaheim, 1979

New York, 1979

World Trade Center, New York, 1979

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C., 1981

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, 1983

Place du Trocadero, Paris, 1983

Niagara Falls, New York, 1984

Bordeaux, France (wine bottle), 1985

Cape Canaveral, Florida (Lunar Ship), 1985

Lake Ninevah, Vermont, 1985.png

Banff National Park, Alberta, 1986

Lake Moraine, Northwest Territories, 1986

Seven Peaks Snowfield, Canada, 1986

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 1987

Monument Valley, Arizona, 1987

Leaning Tower of Pisa, 1989

Rome, Italy, 1989




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