Great Shot: Jane Tam

© Jane Tam

Jane Tam's photography really speaks to the confusion of what racial and cultural roles can have on a person that was raised in America with very little knowledge of there historical background. Tam retells an experience out with her grandparents, picking ginkgo nuts, and it seems this is the start of the exploration of her heritage. She speaks of this specific moment as if it defined her interest, her acceptance that her identity was in need of exploring. Explaining her estranged relationship with her heritage Jane states,

"Never realizing how odd it might look to the non-Chinese population, the enlargement of such a portrait did register alien to my American identity when I was no longer living in my childhood home."
I respond well with the view of Tam's photographic perspective, it is as if I feel that she is studying these things with fresh eyes, that these settings and objects have never been thought about before. The photo titled "Dining Room Table" almost seems like it has been subjected to acceptance (this is how the dinner table has always looked), but with her new found view point as an outsider it clearly is asking the question why? Her use of title is also refreshing. Not only does it tell us as the viewer what exactly we are experiencing, but in most cases it gives us the background necessary to start establishing relationships.

More work of Jane Tam can be found at www.janetam.com.

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