An upcoming exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, New York: Assembled Realities, will showcase more than 40 works from Taiwanese artist Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao. His large-scale panoramas push the boundaries of traditional documentary photography by mixing several exposures of the same location taken over the course of many hours. The photographs that result are hyper-real and complex and provide a fascinatingly accurate depiction of the frenzy that is New York.
One of the photographs from Habitat 7
Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao was born in 1977 in Taiwan and came to New York at 22 to study photography. He took up residency in Queens and earned a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. His breakout show stemmed from his thesis at SVA. Titled Habitat 7, and shot between 2004 and 2006, it was a documentary series that depicted the ethnic diversity of communities along the 7 train line.
Liao has continued to research and document “the social landscape and complex chemistry of New York City,” transitioning from large-format film to digital photography, which has allowed him to create his signature method of stitching together exposures. The artist also has a book being released next month, Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao: New York, encompassing his work in New York for the past 10 years.
Several of Liao’s projects will be on view at the Museum of the City of New York, including Depth of Fields (photos of Shea Stadium), Grand Concourse (commissioned by the Bronx Museum of Art, and Coney Island.
The Museum describes his process:
After selecting a location, Liao returns with a large-format film camera in tow, capturing multiple shots from the same viewpoint and photographing the changing human landscape and light conditions. He then uses digital technologies to transform these photographs into a single finished image—an enormous, detail-driven panorama of social or urban scenery.
New York: Assembled Realities opens to the public on October 15, 2014 and runs through February 14, 2015. Additional information is available here.
All photographs © Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao