jonathan tan
is a photographer

Warp & weft is an exploration of (both) the points of intersection and space between documentary photography and art photography. It attempts to resist the voyeuristic eye, understanding that "a photograph is not just the result of an encounter between an event and a photographer" but "picture-taking is an event in itself.’’ 


  1. a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders.
  2. a representation or impression of someone or something in language or on film or television."the writer builds up a fascinating portrait of a community"


  1. a piece of written, printed, or electronic matter that provides information or evidence or that serves as an official record.

The photographer explores broader and abstract ways to understand and create portraits and documents as a means to capture narratives or non-narratives with the subjects. The results are of play, chance, dialogue, & experiments on ideas of the ‘subjects’.

The work is often initiated by the photographer, and subjects are invited to ideate and collaborate within all parts of the process. Photographs made and displayed are combinations and/or permutations of (but not limited to) :
(1) images taken by the photographer,
(2) images taken by the subject,
(3) images sourced from the subject's archive,
(4) re-photographs — images made by either the photographer and/or the subjects are photographed again (likely in a different method)
(5) images taken by the photographer, manipulated by the subject.

In doing so, the role of the photographer is being challenged, deconstructed, perhaps rendered irrelevant, and forced to take on new meaning.

This is an ongoing project with an expanding profile of individuals, with expanding surface within each portrait.

supported by

Artists as subjects
Adil Arsad.
Pallavi Gupta.
Noah & Ilysia.
Johann Yamin.
Victoria Hertel.
Caroline Chin.
Nicholas See.