Jason Chen’s Stirring, Woven Photographic Portraits

by Andy SmithPosted on

Intricate portraits created by Jason Chen, a photographer based in Philadelphia, come from multiple images of the same subject. But as the artist weaves them together, in a process he says explores “time, movement, process, and mutation,” a new representation of the individual emerges (and the backdrop that encloses them). And somehow, their humanity remains intact.

<img src="https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1528/26308942880_aa3ab2c03c_z.jpg" width="600">

Chen is co-owner of Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia, where the new show “Portrait” kicks off this weekend. (Artists like Lauren Rinaldi, Buddy Nestor, Jean-Paul Mallozzi, and Jason Andrew Turner are also featured.) Among those images is the above piece, an discombobulated, yet ethereal piece titled “K.”

Like the woven photographs of Elizabeth Maskasky or the large-scale, vibrant work of Lala Abaddon, the eye is tempted by several points of entry before settling in each of Chen’s works. The artist says he arrived at this new style after spending much time working with dry plate tintypes. The artist, originally from China, has worked as a photographer in the worlds of editorial, fashion, and alternative process. His woven works were first collected for an exhibit titled “Fragments,” last year at Paradigm.