Anno Domini // the second coming of Art & Design

Anno Domini presents...

Film por Vida” print exchange program
by Jai Tanju (San Jose, CA)
Opening reception: Friday, June 1st from 7-11pm


Jai Tanju "Film por Vida"

The definition of exchange is the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another. The Film Por Vida print exchange program is an international exchange of photographic prints through the mail by all sorts of photographers from around the world. Jai Tanju has sent out thousands of photos to hundreds of photographers and received almost as much in return, and all the photographers exchange amongst themselves as well.

It was started on a whim after seeing the movie “How to draw a bunny” (the Ray Johnson story). The artist Ray Johnson was into sending out what he called “mail art” to all his friends and peers and in the end he dies and all his friends sent the art back and had a massive showing in New York City. Sounds familiar? At the time Jai was working as a freelance photographer where he was spending way too much time in his office where one of two things happened that made it all come together: one was a Christmas card from Slap (a photograph with message on the back with a stamp) via Joe Brook was received then quickly framed and hung on the wall; and two was (and here is the clincher) he waited around way too much for the mailman to deliver paychecks which were always late and never accompanied by anything of substance?

One day Jai looked up at that Slap Christmas card and wondered aloud why he never received photos from Joe anymore? The answer was easy and came to him quick! Why would he or anyone else send me anything since I never sent anything back! Right then he decided to make a conscious effort to send out mail to as many people he knew, or fellow photographers that he could get addresses for. He also decided to call it the “Print Exchange Program” and wrote that phrase on back of each photograph to encourage them to return the mail. His plan worked perfectly and from the get go he was receiving mail from half the people he sent mail to; the other half caught on quick. After four years of doing the P.E.P., Jai has sent out thousands of pieces of mail to people all over the world and gets almost as much mail back as he has sent out.

After about a year he started to post all the mail he received on a blog called Film Por Vida! at and with the added traffic to the site, he saw an instant jump in amount of mail he was receiving…something hoped for but unexpected(?). Even the other members started getting addresses from the site and exchanging amongst themselves!

“Jai Tanju & the Print Exchange Program has received so much mail from around the world that it’s hard for me to make a list of all the countries; but all I can say is; if I were to fly to almost anywhere in the world, I’d have somewhere to stay. It’s a wide web of friends and family all over the USA, England, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Norway….” ~ Jai Tanju


Opening reception: Friday June 1, 2018 from 7–11pm
with music by DJ Ray Stevens II
Exhibition dates: June 1–August 4th, 2018

Gallery hours:
Tuesday-Friday Noon-7 p.m.,
Saturdays Noon-5 p.m.
additional hours by appointment

Anno Domini
366 South First Street
(btwn San Carlos & San Salvador) map
San Jose, CA 95113
t: 408.271.5155

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