Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup
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Valerie Chiang

Valerie Chiang is a wunderkind photographer from Raleigh, North Carolina who began her artistic career as a teenager. Born in 1992, by the current, ripe age of 22 she has exhibited in Mexico, Australia and across the USA. Did I also mention that she speaks English, Chinese and German? Whoa.
Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup

(top left) Marilyn // (top right) This photo was taken at Cape Hatteras Light Station in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and is her first self portrait without a timer. // (bottom left) Rock and Roll  // (bottom right) Short-Winded Elations

Now living in Los Angeles, California, Chiang’s goal in photography is to turn ordinary, sometimes even banal, surroundings into something more magical and imaginative. She shoots dreamscapes that reflect her love of the make-believe and strives to offer viewers a chance to stretch their imaginations and form their own stories from my photographs. She would love to go on a dinner date with independent film director and screenwriter, Jim Jarmusch. She thinks that the ocean always has the best colors in nature and would like to steal and display in her home anything by Edward Hopper.

Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup

(left) At the Art Museum // (top right) Reindeer // (bottom right) To Sail the Seas

Chiang’s work features touches of surrealism ala Renee Magritte, but also the quaint New England vibe of a Robert Frost poem. A master of escapism (the Houdini of the Lens), her work looks as though it’s been shot through a cloud and tumbled through hazy memories. Touting herself as a “professional human being,” her Instagram channel is following by over 25,000 other homo-sapiens who look to her to capture quite and under-appreciated moments: a shadow on a coffee cup, the dizzying height of redwoods, an empty parking space.

“We are torn between nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.” ― Carson McCullers

Photographer Valerie Chiang is Featured by The Walkup

(top left) Tea Memories // (top right) Another Polaroid Self-Portrait // (bottom left) Wooden Puppet // (bottom right) Flight of Fancy

Aside from having a killer eye and visual instinct, Chiang also dabbles in personal playlists that are instantly transportative. Check out her dreamy and “shoegazey” mix meant for cruising down the highway at 99 mph during sunset.

1. From The Morning Heat // Craft Spells
2. Drifter // Wild Nothing
3. Now Is Not The Time // CHVRCHES
4. Sometimes // Beach Fossils
5. Time Will Tell // Blood Orange
6. Only Heather // Wild Nothing
7. Follow // DIIV
8. Second Chance (RAC Mix) // Peter Bjorn & John
9. Bring On The Dancing Horses // Echo & The Bunnymen
10. These Days // The Jesus & Mary Chain



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My Week in Snapshots: 5/19/2012 – 5/26/2012

I have not been in my own city for about five weekends in a row now. This a double edged sword: awesome because I get to see much of the East Coast and am always hanging out with new people, tiring because I pay a lot of money for my apartment and I feel as though I am “wasting rent” or….sometimes I just need to be still, be horizontal, and take a bath at home. This past weekend I was in Boston visiting my boyfriend’s family. The travels took me on an Amtrak train ride up the coast where I could watch the sun slowly set alongside the tracks.

Here are a few photos taken straight from my iPhone so that you can see the New England sites through mine own eyes.

1. A new frozen yogurt store opened up mere blocks from my apartment in Chelsea, NYC. This is dangerous seeing as though I LOVE frozen treats, but that also my yogurt intake goes WAY up in the summer. It’s a direct correlation. Anyway, the store is called 16 Handles and it has ever-rotating 16 flavors and unlimited and limitless toppings – cereals, jimmies, fudges, syrups, cookies, candies, fruits – there are like 100 toppings from which to choose.

2. The train ride from NYC to Boston took about five hours. During this time my boyfriend got extremely bored and decided to make an article about Rocco DiSpirito in Arrive Magazine, an article about Spiderman. Doodling can pass hours easily!

3. The sun sets over the tracks as we have our dinner on a train and head to beantown. Seeing the world from an elevated perspective, whether it be via an airplane or a train, allows ones to reevaluate the landscape.

4. In and out of train stations, bus stations, and through constant traveling, I spy other couples making the same trek as us. The elevators go up, the escalators go down.

5. My boyfriend’s childhood home has a guest room wherein family albums are kept and displayed. We sat on the guest bed one night and pored through hundreds of all photos of his mother, grandparents, and high school yearbook photos. Somehow I always feel more connected to a person when I am given an intimate glimpse into their visual memories. Here is a wall of photos from my boyfriend’s grand-family in Morocco.

6. The weather in NYC this week has been straight out of Jumanji or some tropical rainforest. One morning, the fog was so thick on my walk to work that the skyscrapers were blending into the clouds. Here is the skyline of the Flatiron District from Madison Square Pare.

7. Only in NYC will this antique chaise be casually thrust aside to the curb! If I had a truck I would have grabbed it immediately. Beware of bedbugs!

8. Boasting a genuine19th century atmosphere created by the many historically significant structures here – including some of the oldest churches and libraries in the nation – this residential area is also home to some incredible Back Bay, Boston townhomes built throughout the last century. Driving through Back Bay and viewing the Victorian architecture instantly transports me to the colonial era.

9. Artist Alex Katz is all over Boston and is having an exhibition of his prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) who touts the gallery as, “A world of glowing light and vibrant color, “Alex Katz Prints.” Bold portraits, idyllic landscapes, scenes of sophisticated leisure—they’re all here in the works of the renowned contemporary artist. With arresting simplicity of line, color, and form, Katz distills his subjects down to their essence, with a powerful graphic punch.”

The gallery scene is also bringing all of their Alex Katz prints out of inventory to celebrate his local rise in fame. Here I am holding an original, limited edition print, “Bathing Cap”.  Katz is on my “dream list of artists to own”. 

10. My morning coffee routine got a bit more trendy now that I am stopping at Keko Cafe. Featured in New York’s 50 Best, the cafe serves a daily, traditional High Tea Service. Keko Café opened in 1996, bringing a touch of European café life to Murray Hill, NYC. The food, drink, and décor are inspired by the English tea tradition, French café life, and Tunisian flavors in some dishes. I love the vibe of the gilded frames, travelers trunks, and parisian cafe chairs.

Image found HERE.

What did YOU do this week?