Tommy Kha: Half, Full, Quarter
In stock In this first major monograph, featuring almost a decade of work, Tommy Kha explores the highly personal psycho-geography of his hometown.
Tommy Kha (born in Memphis, 1988) lives and works between Brooklyn and Memphis. He received a BFA from Memphis College of Art in 2011 and an MFA from Yale School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut, in 2013. In 2021, Kha received the Creator Labs Photo Fund and the Aperture–Baxter St Next Step Award. In 2022, he was named a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow. Kha has also held residencies at Light Work, New York; Celebrate the Studio at the International Studio & Curatorial Program, Brooklyn; Silver Art Projects, Manhattan; and Crosstown Arts, Memphis. He joined Higher Pictures Generation, New York, in 2022.
Hua Hsu, a staff writer at the New Yorker, is an associate professor of English at Vassar College, and serves on the executive board of the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. He is the author of Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure across the Pacific (2016) and Stay True: A Memoir (2022).
An-My Lê is the Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace E. Ramsey Kellogg Professor in the Arts at Bard College, New York. She has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Lê has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and MacArthur Foundation. Her books include the Aperture titles Small Wars (2005), Events Ashore (2014), and On Contested Terrain (2020), which was published on the occasion of a major exhibition organized by Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh.
In this first major monograph, featuring almost a decade of work, Tommy Kha explores the highly personal psycho-geography of his hometown. As the artist states, “Memphis has become, for me, not only the place where I was raised but an active borderland between fantasy and memory, nostalgia and history, nonfiction and mythology.” Memphis is where his mother, fleeing Vietnam in the early 1980s, settled, along with his extended family. Throughout the work, his mother emerges as a recurring character, sometimes the subject of quiet photographic study, and in others, a collaborative muse. “I’m a cut of my mom,” Kha asserts, “Every photograph I make of her is a Half Self-Portrait.” In snapshots drawn from a family album that serves as the one record of her journey to the United States, she is the source of nostalgia and barely captured memory. In assembling a visual account of the struggle to find his own voice and narrate the fragmented history of his family, Kha challenges the cultural amnesia around Asian lives and experiences in recent American histories. Acclaimed author Hua Hsu contributes an engaging essay, “People Need to Smile More,” and MacArthur Fellow An-My Lê conducts an incisive conversation with Kha that delves into his family history and artistic strategies.
Tommy Kha: Half, Full, Quarter is the result of the Next Step Award, a partnership between Aperture and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, in collaboration with the 7|G Foundation. An exhibition of the work will open at Baxter St in New York in February 2023.
Number of pages: 176
Number of images: 115
Publication date: 2023-02-07
Measurements: 8.5 x 10.5 x 0.88 inches