Rather than capture a single moment, Jason Chen (previously) weaves together photographs taken just seconds apart, creating disjointed portraits that convey movement and the passage of time. The Philadelphia-based artist often splices snapshots of the same setting and subject with slight differences in the tilt of the head, gesture, or gaze. Laced into a grid or hypnotizing circle like a photographic tapestry, the resulting images are uncanny and disorienting, nodding to fragmented identities and skewed perceptions of the self and others.
In a note to Colossal, Chen shares that the process and outcome of each piece depend on the subject. “When I work with professionals, the initial photoshoots tend to be an exploration of movement whereas with my close friends, there is often an exploration of more subtle emotion in the process. Sometimes I’m most excited about the pieces that end up only having a subtle shift,” he says.
While Chen sometimes plans portraits, the weaving process is entirely intuitive. He often narrows his materials to two images, although he’s currently experimenting with adding more to the mix. “Unlike the initial act of photographing, the photoweaving process involves a lot of unknowns. I usually like to dive in without preplanning the effect the weaving is going to have on the two photos, and sometimes this leads to weavings that don’t quite work out, but it makes it that much more exciting when they do.”
Find more of Chen’s recent works at Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia.
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