Tommy Kha


(b. 1988, Memphis, Tennessee) received his BFA in Photography from Memphis College of Art and his Photography MFA from Yale University. His work has been published in Modern Painters, Humble Arts, Slate, the Huffington Post, BUTT Magazine, Hyperallergic, Buzzfeed, and Miranda July’s “We Think Alone” and exhibited at LMAK Gallery, Deli Gallery, Foley Gallery, Ryerson Artspace, Georgia Scherman Projects, Aperture, Signal Gallery, ALLGOLD at MoMA PS1 Printshop, Johalla Projects, Yongkang Lu Art, and Kunstverein Wolfsburg.

He was an En Foco Photography Fellowship recipient, and formerly artist-in-residence through the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Light Work, and most recently, Fountainhead. Through Aint-Bad Editions, Kha published his first monograph, A Real Imitation. He appeared in Laurie Simmons’ narrative feature, My Art. He currently lives and works between New York City and Memphis.

Artist Statement

“I am this space my body believes in.” Neon Vernacular. Yusef Komunyakaa

Through the framework of the self-portrait, I constantly navigate between self and otherness in my photography. Themes of likeness and representation are at the forefront of my picture making. I shift between comedy and tragedy, familiarity and foreignness, performer and camera operator.

Most recently, I use my photographed body—specifically photographic prints of myself—to alter the way I look photographed, reflecting the divide between the self and the photographed self—the Shadow.

In short, my work is about the self in self-portrait, the portrait in self-portrait, and the hyphen in self-portrait.

Image credit: Tommy Kha, Titan, Hernando, MS, 2011, Digital c-type print