Yu-Chen Chiu (b. Kaohsiung, Taiwan; lives in Brooklyn, NY)
America Seen: Anti-Racism Rally, New York City, NY
Archival pigment print; edition 2 of 6
Image 18 x 26 inches, framed to 22 x 30 inches
$1500 (for purchase inquiry, please contact Erin at email@example.com)
Please tell us about yourself and which part of the world you currently reside.
Hi everyone. My name is Yu-Chen Chiu, I am a lens- based artist currently living in Brooklyn, NY.
I tell stories about migration and belonging. Born and raised in Taiwan, and have spent almost half of my life in the United States living as an immigrant, my experience with internalized cultural conflict has strongly influenced my artistic approach.
I was the recipient of a 2018 En Foco Photography Fellowship and the commission grant of the Aperture Foundation/FujiFilm U.S.A. I was honored to exhibit my work worldwide at such venues as the Fotografiska New York, and the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City, Fort Wayne Museum of Art in Indiana, USA, and Musee du Louvre Paris, France. My work can also be found on Smithsonianmag.com, Aperture.org, Lenscratch.com, L’ŒIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE, ELLE China, VOGUE International, Time Out New York, and Paul Auster’s book cover.
I studied new media and film when I was in college. I had a masters’ degree in new media (formal title of my major is ITP: Interactive Telecommunications Program) at New York University. I also studied photography at the Cooper Union, International Center of Photography (ICP), and Magnum Photos’ Master Class. In 2021 I was thrilled to attend Eddie Adams Workshop (the class of XXXIV) and joined as a member of Authority Collective, The Diversify Photo and Women Photograph.
When did you first discover your love of photography?
Thanks to a love heartbreak, I found my true love with photography.
Please tell us about the individual piece that was selected to be included in this exhibit. Also, tell us a bit about the body of work that this is from.
The photo was taken during the anti-racism rally in New York City in 2021.
For me this image represents many facets of current social issues, matters of gender, race, violence and uncertainty about the future. They were all captured with the blend of the women in the poster and protesters’ reflection in the window. Although it was one of the most uncertain times in our era, this image gives me a sense of hope.
As a side note, this image is also part of my long-term photo series “America Seen,” a visual poem about the social landscape of the United States during the Trump era.
It linked to me receiving my U.S. GreenCard in 2015, and my work was born out of what America means to me and what is the American Dream. In a time of political unrest and uncertainty about the future, issues of race, patriotism, and violence made me take a closer look at my second home. Through my explorations of the land, stark contrasts came to life, and are striking for me who grew up in Taiwan, a country that is ethnically similar with a collectivist culture.
The intention for this project is not meant only as a self-exploration of the U.S, but to capture the history. Through my lens, I hope the audience can come along and see how divided emotions blend together in search of the American Dream.
Is it your intention to have your artwork bring attention to any current social issues?
My experience shapes my work, and my in-between state of mind leads me to view the world in a poetic way from the outside in.
My work generated various interpretations to broader viewers because they can easily connect to it by infusing their own realities into the work. Through this way, I aim to use photography as a conversation starter and a visual cue for viewers to think, question and continue the conversation.
Who / what are your biggest influences?
I would say film, paintings, architecture and photo books are where I normally get inspiration from.
I can look at Andre Kertesz’s image a thousand times and never get tired of it.
I also enjoy talking to people from different walks of life. I always get something out of it and realize life is so interesting and full of potential.
“Behind the Lens” – Do you have any interesting or funny facts about the creation of your piece?
The photo was taken during the anti-racism rally in New York City. I followed the crowds for the entire trip, and it happens to pass by the building where I used to go to school at and intuitively I just take a peek of the building and see the interesting layering of the poster on the window that intertwined with the reflections of the protestors. It builds up the narrative of the social issues at that time, the matters of race, gender, patriotism and uncertainty about the future.