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 Tommy Kha  (1988 - )

About: Tommy Kha


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Lived/Active: Tennessee      Known for: photography

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Biography from Paul Edelstein Studio and Gallery:
Tommy Kha was born on November 17, 1988.  While growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, Kha experienced the culture it had to offer.  In 2005, while reading Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portraits of an Era, Kha ventured out into the world of Indie culture (subculture of independence) artists and musicians alike, granting the lifestyle to be exposed through a lens.  His photography was done digitally, updating the ideal of the evolution of photography while maintaining the basic rules of non-flash and non-photoshopped photography.

While attending Overton High School, a publicly funded art and high school, Tommy Kha came under the teachings of Betty Elam-Burton for two years.  He eventually graduated in May of 2007.  He continues to pursue his photography through Indie culture as well as attending Memphis College of Art in the Fall of 2007.

He has gained public attention through his photography piece entitled, Never a Place to Call Home.  He prefers the piece never to be seen again as he wishes for it not to be the only thing for which he is recognized.  In 2006, Kha self-published his book of Memphis musicians he photographed that year.  With only a few copies in existence, he plans to make more books each year, cataloguing and storing a hidden era.

Artist Statement:
"After a fiasco involving my national award-winning piece I never really liked, I decided to be more self-aware in my style and techniques.  I vowed never to use flash in my official photographs and never manipulate a photograph through photoshop. Memphis Indie culture fascinated me to help it flourish more.  With bands, I did not become a fan to them but a friend who had a camera.  Seeing the real competition, I photograph the emotions and the life that these musicians and artists live.  As the young person I still am, my photographs will evolve as I get older but I hope to sitll maintain the idea of capturing the Indie culture in years to come.

I use Ilford Pearl paper and Epson Archival Ink to print my work.  All photographs I've taken are done in the camera and without the use of a flash.

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