Jeff Liao (full name Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao) is an alumni from Taiwan who began with Academic & English Preparation (AEP) grade 11 in Winter 1995 and graduated from Bodwell in Summer 1997.
Bodwell teachers past and present, Susie Gerken, Will Gartland, Doug Graham and Housam Hallis all taught him. He studied in New York in 1999, first at the Pratt Institute and then at the School of Visual Arts. Cathy and I met Jeff last Sunday (22nd February 2015) at the Museum of the City of New York where he is holding his solo photography exhibition.
The extract below is taken from the The Wall Street Journal article Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao’s ‘Assembled Realities’ Opens at City Museum
“The financier J. Ira Harris recalls seeing a photograph during Art Basel Miami Beach years ago in which Taiwanese artist Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao perfectly captured a part of Mr. Harris’s New York life. “The old Concourse Plaza Hotel, Yankee Stadium, the old neighborhood, all in one great shot,” said Mr. Harris, now a collector of several Liao works. “I grew up in the Bronx. I love New York and fell in love with Jeff’s work.” (See a slideshow of his photographs here)
For Mr. Liao, 37 years old, photography isn’t about catching a singular “decisive moment,” as the photojournalism pioneer Henri Cartier-Bresson put it, but moments across time. A new exhibition … features more than 40 of Mr. Liao’s large-scale photos, each the result of hours of shooting and dozens, sometimes hundreds, of frames that have been compressed into one, a process that takes up to two weeks for one image.
The show and an accompanying book, containing 60 additional images, offer a decade-long retrospective of his work across all five of the city’s boroughs.”
“Everything is a composite, stitched,” Mr. Liao said. “It looks very real, but it’s not real in documentary terms.”
“What I like about Jeff and his work, he’s very open to what is presented to him,” said Sean Corcoran, the museum’s curator of prints and photographs. “He sees the place, gathers the experience and the impressions, and then makes the picture he feels is appropriate.” “