AAPI Heritage Month: An Rong Xu

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An Rong Xu is a Chinese-American photographer based in New York City. His work explores identity within the Chinese-American community, and the evolving social philosophy within, while photographing the transition from immigrant to American.
Xu graduated with a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in May 2012, he is currently the Artist in Residence at East Meets West, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Kong Family Fellow.

An Rong Xu

How long have you been in photojournalism?

I have been photographing for over 6 years and have been invested in photojournalism for 4 years.

How and why did you decide to become a photojournalist?

When you start, you just worry about making one good photo; it’s easy to make one good photo. It takes a lot more to make a group of photos that tell a story and make a bigger impact. When I realized that, that’s when I decided on photojournalism.

What do you love most about photography?

I love that everyone sees differently. Photography allows for the ability for me to work on my own and grow as a person.

How has being an AAPI helped/hurt your photojournalism career?

I believe being AAPI has opened doors for me in making work. Being AAPI allows for me to put my history and my story into perspective and using that to make photographs with meaning.

What advice did you wish someone gave you when you were starting out?

Photograph what you love and don’t be afraid to go where others have not.


Helen Zia, from the portfolio The Family, An Rong Xu for Hyphen.

Helen Zia, from the portfolio The Family. (An Rong Xu | Hyphen Magazine)


Nobuko Miyamoto, from the portfolio The Family, An Rong Xu for Hyphen.

Nobuko Miyamoto, from the portfolio The Family. (An Rong Xu | Hyphen Magazine)


Charlie Chin, from the portfolio The Family. (An Rong Xu | Hyphen Magazine)


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Hunting for Bigfoot in the California Redwoods the cast of Finding Bigfoot. (An Rong Xu | Maxim Magazine)


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Hunting for Bigfoot in the California Redwoods with BoBo, from the cast of Finding Bigfoot. (An Rong Xu | Maxim Magazine)


Emma Stone prepping for a scene, on the set of Amazing Spiderman 2.

Emma Stone prepping for a scene, on the set of Amazing Spiderman 2.


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The band, Run River North, at the New World Mall Food Court in NYC. (An Rong Xu | Run River North)


Brian AKA Buddha, at Grand Park handball courts in NYC.

Brian AKA Buddha, at Grand Park handball courts in NYC.


Backstage with Contestant number 5, of the Miss Model Angel contest.

Backstage with Contestant number 5, of the Miss Model Angel contest.Mr. Wong, a funeral florist in Chinatown, NYC.

Mr. Wong, a funeral florist in Chinatown, NYC.