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.
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.
(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
(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