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Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao is a Taiwanese artist who was born in 1977. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1999 at the age of 22 to study photography.

There, he immediately took residence in Queens, New York, in close proximity to the 7 subway line, dubbed by the New York City Department of City Planning as the “International Express.” He earned an MFA from School of Visual Arts and a BFA from Pratt Institute. Liao’s renowned Habitat 7 series, for which he received critical acclaim, stemmed from his master’s thesis at SVA. Taken over the course of two years, Liao depicted the ethnic diversity of the communities along the 7 train subway line on its seven-mile route from Manhattan to Flushing. Liao has won the New York Times Magazine “Capture the Times” photography contest in 2005 with his work from the Habitat 7 series. After this major debut, Liao extended his perimeters to other areas that show the city as a constantly changing organism. In 2012, Liao won the Emerging Icon in Photography Award from George Eastman House.

Liao creates large-scale panoramas by combining multiple exposures of the same location taken over the course of several hours. The resulting composite photographs are often fantastical; complex, hyper-real views that no single shot—or the eye—could capture. Liao has spent the past decade honing his distinctive style, making images of his adopted city from the Grand Concourse to Coney Island, the old Shea Stadium to the 72nd Street Subway.

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