NEW YORK CITY, 1998. A newly arrived immigrant eats noodles on a fire escape. (Photo: Chien-Chi Chang / Magnum Photos)

Chien-Chi Chang

“I know the editor cannot publish an ‘excuse.’ There is no good excuse. I get in, get the pictures and get out. Period.”


Chien-Chi Chang is a member of Magnum Photos. “The Chain,” a collection of portraits made in a mental asylum in Taiwan, caused a sensation when it was shown at La Biennale di Venezia (2001) and the Bienal de Sao Paolo (2002). The life-sized photographs of pairs of patients literally chained together resonate with Chang’s jaundiced look at the less visible bonds of marriage. He has treated marital ties in two books—“I do I do I do” (2001), a collection of images depicting alienated grooms and brides in Taiwan, and in “Double Happiness” (2005), a brutal depiction of the business of selling brides in Vietnam. For 25 years, Chang has photographed the bifurcated lives of Chinese immigrants in New York’s Chinatown, along with those of their wives and families back home in Fujian. He has published four books, shown his work in more than a dozen exhibitions around the world, and has won top awards, including from World Press Photo, Visa Pour L’Image, NPPA and Pictures of the Year International.