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Text: David Kenji Chang


The Fulcrum Press, located in LA’s Chinatown, is a purpose-built gallery dedicated to conceptual photography. Owned and operated by Wyatt Conlon, Jaybe Lee, and Joshua Schaedel, three friends who are multidisciplinary artists and photographers themselves, the gallery grew out of the art book publishing imprint of the same name founded by Schaedel in 2014. It also grew out of necessity. “We started it because it needed to happen,” Schaedel explains. “There hasn’t been a real photo gallery in the city for almost a decade. Everyone was hungry.”

From the sleepy second floor of Far East Plaza–a small mall whose first floor is filled with crowded, buzzy food vendors–The Fulcrum team pours every cent into freely exploring photo’s materiality, commodification, and contradiction. Since opening in early 2021, the gallery has shown 16 artists; Phil Chang recently showed “unfixed” prints intended to fade to an even, chocolate brown. 

They’ve hosted two holiday “Trading Posts”, Fulcrum’s subversion and inversion of the Art Book Fair. Visitors frequently “get buried” in their bookshelf’s growing, artist-curated library that can be browsed, borrowed, or bought. “The Idea was to materialize the photo community, and it’s really happened,” says Schaedel. “For the little we’re losing, we’re gaining so much.”

David Kenji Chang is a writer and comedian who currently lives and works in New York and Southern California. 

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