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Albert Chong

Born, 1958 in Jamaica

Albert Chong is an artist whose extraordinary, fascinating work is distinguished by its use of photography. In many respects, he makes, rather than takes photographs. His most celebrated bodies of work reference things such as ancestry, the spirit world, history, and identity.

One of Chong’s most important publications is Ancestral Dialogues: The Photographs of Albert Chong, a publication that was “the fifty-seventh in a series of publications on photography  by The Friends of Photography [San Francisco, Untitled 57, 1994]. It represents an important and relatively substantial publication on a fascinating, Jamaica-born photographer.

Contents as follows:

Quincy TroupeIn the Eyes, Memory Lies, [an essay on the work of Albert Chong, interspersed with Chong’s images.]

Four pages of statements and recollections by the artist, dispersed through a section of the publication, representing a significant folio of the artist’s photographs.

Thelma GoldenAlbert Chong: Eye & I, [an endnoted essay on the work of Albert Chong, Golden was at the time Associate Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art and of the Whitney Museum at Philip Morris]

Albert V. Chong: Vita

From Troupe’s text: “Chong’s photographs are ultimately a very personal and poetic invocation of the African and Chinese traditions that he grew up with in his native Jamaica. They are highly ritualized, improvised narratives that make both religious and secular connotations. They feed the spirits of both ancestral and living appetites. They illuminate commonplace elements that are, through his magical, shamanistic eyes, transmogrified and transformed into objects of worship…

Chong’s photographs are ultimately a very personal and poetic invocation of the African and Chinese traditions that he grew up with in his native Jamaica. They are highly ritualized, improvised narratives that make both religious and secular connotations. They feed the spirits of both ancestral and living appetites. They illuminate commonplace elements that are, through his magical, shamanistic eyes, transmogrified and transformed into objects of worship.” 

From Golden’s text: “Photographs are traditionally viewed  as the literal embodiment of what is visible; Albert Chong seeks to make manifest what is invisible. His photographs remind me of things I have never really seen, and yet everything is hauntingly familiar. At some level, experiencing his work involves suspending and confronting the knowledge of science - and believing in the potency of magic. It is the precise intermingling of these two forces which converge to capture the moment and bear its essence. Albert Chong’s photographic practice relies on his mastery of science and his surrender to the sources he seeks to render visible.”

Ancestral Dialogues: The Photographs of Albert Chong features an extensive selection of monochrome images of Chong’s work, which together represent a hugely important document on the artist’s work, covering a period from the early 1980s to the early 1990s.

www.albertchong.com

Related items + view all 6

click to show details of Ancestral Dialogues: The Photographs of Albert Chong

»  Ancestral Dialogues: The Photographs of Albert Chong

Catalogue relating to an individual, 1994

click to show details of Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century

»  Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century

Book relating to a publication, 1997

click to show details of Caribbean Art - book

»  Caribbean Art - book

Book relating to a publication, 1998

click to show details of Interrogating Identity - catalogue

»  Interrogating Identity - catalogue

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1991

click to show details of ‘Interrogating Identity’: The View from ‘outside’

»  ‘Interrogating Identity’: The View from ‘outside’

Article relating to an exhibition, 1991

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College

Oberlin, Ohio, United States of America

»  Grey Art Gallery and Study Centre

New York, United States of America

»  Madison Art Center

Madison, United States of America

»  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, United States of America

»  Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, United States of America