San Francisco Weekly


SF Art Institute MFA Show  
San Francisco Weekly  
by Josi Marquez

The tantalizing tension between still-life and motion picture turns up in a series of photographs by H. Jung Shim and Thomas Chang. Shim's deadpan color prints depict scenes from straight porn movies projected, at night, over the facades of staid two-family homes in what appears to be the Sunset district. These funny if pranksterish moments of "uncovering" porn in the parochial neighborhood, (did the people in the house know what was playing outside?) alternate with interior shots of clean and banal living rooms in which television set is also playing porno films.

Chang, on the other hand, takes a more traditional approach to the subject matter, succeeding mainly by dint of his ostensible craft as a photographer. In a series of large color prints, Chang depicts the minimal and tacky interiors of strip joints. Unfortunately, one of the prints had been dinged (vandalism by an adult dancer, angered by his/her absence?) temporarily breaking the spell cast by Chang's bright and cheery diorama of evacuated "adult dancing" clubs. So familiar did these locales seem, at first, that I mistook them for the basement "rec rooms" of families who suddenly struck it rich in the 1970's.