New York City Building Time Lapse, 2009 – 2013
For the duration of the Queens Museum’s expansion project, Taiwan-born, Queens-based photographer Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao has been in residence capturing the transformation of the New York City Building. A series of Liao’s large-format color photographs will chronicle this most recent metamorphosis in ten 40 x 60″ pigment ink prints.
From lyrical architectural delineations of glass, metal and sheer space to surreal to surreal vistas suggesting otherworldly environments, these evocative photographs are derived from hundreds of exposures shot over a period of several hours or the course of a day. Behind the scenes views of worn walls and stairwells lined in the original terra cotta tiles and glass block windows typical of the building’s beaux-arts construction contrast with unique bird’s eye views of ceilings soaring to over 45 feet in height revealing the new Grimshaw design’s modernist elements.
Earlier individual images are composed from multiple large-format 8 x 10 negatives manipulated in Photoshop in a meticulous process of layering and editing, thus creating a seamlessly blended version of the artist’s perception of a particular space. Though Liao now works primarily in a digital format, New York City Building Time Lapse, 2009-2013 references both the future and the past as it embraces new and traditional film technologies.
Liao’s process transcends the bounds of documentary photography through a compelling melding of time and image, forming new compositions rich in detail and atmosphere which transform the viewer’s perception of once familiar locations.
Archival photographs, documentation and blueprints from the Queens Museum of Art’s collection will convey the rich history of the building from its role as the New York City Pavilion in the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, home of the United Nations General Assembly (1946-1950), and site of both the Queens Museum of Art (1972 – today) and the World’s Fair Skating Rink (1952-1962; 1964-2008). In addition to Liao’s commissioned work, New York City Building Time Lapse, 2009 – 2013: Photographs by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao will feature materials from the archives of the United Nations, the New York City Parks Department, and Grimshaw Architects.
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