My name is Chamenou Mikey Chang. I am a Hmong amateur artist working as a photographer, exploring the world through new perspectives. Every time there is a chance to understand what it is I capture; I try to photograph it in a new light. I enjoy creating projects revolving around human complexities and culture. My mission is to open unique views and themes through my photographs, while understanding the risk and closure. The purpose of my work is to make viewers think about the world and their existence within space; as photos are just one moment that exert a meaning of a lifetime.
The journey of photography starts with viewing the world in its’ context. There are moments beyond your life that define your story and existence. As an amateur artist living in America, it gifted me the ability to see further into the scopes of this world and how sheltered that I’ve been. Understanding these privileges gives me the opportunity to capture what life is like beyond my living space.
The mission of my work is to explore human complexities; at the same time exploring the world and its’ composition with human existence. The exertion of photography is to educate viewers about the invisible issues that are part of this world and how viewing a photograph could aid a viewer’s senses to become self-aware. Although this is only one mission through using a powerful device, there are many inspirations and stories to explore, understand, and produce that are yet to be photographed.
Coming from a refugee family, there are so many stories that have been told. In my family, there is an extensive collection of old photographs; some black and white, and some color. In those photographs are family members that were lost and some who are still alive. There are images of places that were once occupied. Images of children, families, and much more.
Photographs from the beginning have always been a present matter in the family. To me, it is incredibly important because it is the last preservation of the memories of that can never be replaced or witnessed again. These photographs are a scenery, an event that happened in time; they are information and proof of existence that needs to be preserved for as long as possible.
It is this driven force that retains my motivation for the continuation of photography, because it is important work. It is the work of preserving an archive of stories and families that will not exist again. It is work that secures physical evidence to be seen again through generations to come.