Thursday 18 March 2010

Natalie Chan

All images © Natalie Chan

In her project statement, photographer Natalie Chan describes New York as a "playground of faces — some happy, some lonely, some childish, and some numb." She adds, "I photograph people that catch my immediate attention — often those absorbed in their own world. In contrast, my photography of objects leads to a process of self-reflection."

It may come as little surprise to learn that Taiwan-born Chan has a background in philosophy from the University of Texas, Austin and is in fact largely self-taught as a photographer. When not immersing herself in philosophy books, she spent much of her time producing images. She writes, "the more pictures I took, the more I realized that I enjoyed photography much more than philosophy. Photography expresses a more genuine version of my thoughts."

Upon completing a Masters degree in philosophy, she eventually moved to New York to study photography at the School of Visual Arts. She has participated in numerous group shows last Autumn including The 2nd Annual Governors Island Art Fair, and Color Matters, National Juried Exhibition, juried by Jen Mergel, Cohasset, MA. Chan is a recipient of the School of Visual Arts Photography Cage Scholarship in 2008.

Of her Waterland series (a small snippet from which is pictured above), she says: "Many of my images are of single isolated objects; in a way they are portraits. However, they involve a different kind of perception. No one looks back at me or communicates with me, so rather than interpret someone else, I am forced to look more and more into myself. Nevertheless, both my photographs of people and of objects reflect my perspective of the world, my way of seeing. Many of the images in this series were shot close to the ocean: Coney Island, Liberty Island, Governor’s Island or the beaches of Long Island. The open sky and big white clouds are my favorite backdrop."