The Julius Shulman Institute (JSI) at Woodbury University is pleased to announce Benny Chan as the 2018 recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award. Chan is a graduate of the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a Los Angeles local who works as both an art and commercial photographer.
Through architecture and photography, Benny Chan makes sense of the world; he is fascinated by how things go together. His photographs may collectively be read as an assembly manual for Los Angeles. They show the city from top-down perspective, as plan-views of its infrastructures and everyday monuments. They get inside the machines that run the metropolis, from the port of Los Angeles, to utility stations, transportation terminals, warehouses, and laundromats.
These images depict extremes, extreme heights, extreme scales, extreme access. And, they all have extreme stories. Chan’s efforts to make sense, to figure out, know no bounds. He hangs from helicopters to get the right angle. He builds his own cameras to surpass focal length limitations of off-the-shelf models. And, he finds his way behind the scenes and into highly restricted sites.
Chan’s most recent series, photographs of iconic and vernacular Los Angeles architecture under construction, is the focus of the JSI’s award exhibition opening at the WUHO Gallery on May 12. These documents peel back the familiar finish of the city and reveal its guts. They give Los Angeles the opportunity to see what it’s made of.
About the Julius Shulman InstituteArchitectural photographer Julius Shulman founded the Institute at Woodbury University in 2005 spurred by his passion for education. His endowment supports students, career artists, and commercial photographers who encourage us to look at our physical environment from a unique and critical perspective. In pursuit of this mission, the Institute offers public programming, including exhibitions, workshops and symposia, disseminates information through publication and diverse media, as well as supporting scholarships and awarding excellence.
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