Photography, more than any other medium possesses such a power to transport us to anywhere in the world. And because of it’s documentary nature, we often believe what a photograph is telling us. When New York based photographer Jenna Gang contacted me, I was especially intrigued by her series of images from Israel. It turns out this controversial country has very special meaning for Jenna. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing her talk about the series in this email interview we conducted recently.
Artsy Forager | Your series of photographs from Israel have such a different, more quiet focus than most imagery coming from that country. What was your catalyst for the series? Did it evolve over time or did you begin with your concept already in mind?
Jenna Gang | The catalyst for this series was my grandfather. As a holocaust survivor, he expressed throughout my childhood how important it was for me to visit the holy land. After he passed away, his 35mm camera was given to me by my grandmother. By merging his camera with his aspirations for me, I thought it only fitting to honor his memory by shooting this series.
Throughout my development as a photographer, I have always been drawn to images that were minimalistic and left interpretation to the viewer. Through photographs, the world sees Israel as a conflict. I wanted to show that Israel is so much more than that. I simplified my subject to lines and shapes to reflect the natural beauty of the country.
JG | In hopes of not sounding too generic, most of my fellow FIT alumni are my heroes. This is because although our foundation was built in the same way our results vary so widely. Erin Kennedy, Christian Thorman and Nadirah Zakariya were each given the same tools that I was and yet we all emerged with distinct individual styles. I wait in anticipation to see what they create next.
AF | What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t a photographer?
JG | If I weren’t a photographer, I’d be a food critic. Since I love to eat, this would be a worthy profession. I understand that I would have to eat some bad food along the way, but it would all be worth it for that one good dish.
AF | What is your dream photography project?
JG | During my free time, I enjoy travelling the world via Google Earth, planning how I would capture each of the different landscapes. I am fascinated with Japan and would enjoy a trip to the countrysides of Tokyo, Samurai sword in tow.
To see more of Jenna Gang’s work, please check out her website.