Two Places on Earth Works by Chan Chao

January 29–May 22, 2022
Presented by the AU Museum Project Space

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Read the exhibition catalog online, featuring a foreword by Kim Sajet, director, National Portrait Gallery, and afterword by Anthony W. Fontes, Assistant Professor, American University. Hard copies of the catalog will be available for purchase during the museum's regular operating hours or by emailing museum@american.edu at a later date. Please check back for updates.

Chan Chao, Melissa (Country of Origin : Peru), 2006

Chan Chao, Melissa (Country of Origin : Peru), 2006. Archival pigment print, 36.5 x 29 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Chan Chao, Craba (Country of Origin : Slovakia), 2003.

Chan Chao, Craba (Country of Origin : Slovakia), 2003. Archival pigment print, 36.5 x 29 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Chan Chao, Araceli and Friend (Country of Origin : Spain), 2006.

Chan Chao, Araceli and Friend (Country of Origin : Spain), 2006. Archival pigment print, 36.5 x 29 in. Courtesy of the artist.

This portrait series is based on the idea of open societies, interconnection, and the world’s contraction. It features global citizens and is meant to acknowledge how beautiful the concept of an open society can be, but not in a utopian sense. This five-year project consists of multinational UN peacekeepers in Cyprus along with multinational prisoners in Peru,
incarcerated for smuggling cocaine out of Lima. Chao’s intention is to blur all lines that define cultural differences, emphasize each subject’s dignity, and make portraits with restraint and quiet tenor. He presents the subjects as individuals that viewers can relate to.

About the artist

Chan Chao was born in Kalemyo, Burma. He has published three photography books, “Burma: Something Went Wrong,” “Letter form PLF” and “Echo.” Chao’s Burma portraits were featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial (New York, New York). His photographs has been exhibited at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, New York, G Fine Art in Washington, DC and Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, California. Chao’s photographs are in the permanent collection of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The National Gallery of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Huston Museum of Fine Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Denver Art Museum, Museum of Photographic Art, Asian Society Museum and LaSalle Bank Photography Collection.

Chao was recently commisioned by Children’s Hospital to produce limited sets of portofolio titled “Reflections,” a photographic tribute to the power of philanthropy at Children’s National.