A new series of images that recently appeared on Flickr (and, as these things go, subsequently on a barrage of Tumblr streams) herald the arrival of a new photographic talent. Nineteen year old Valerie Chiang from Raleigh, North Carolina is a self-taught photographer who positioned a trio of young models in front of a screen, against which she was projecting Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou.
“I chose this movie for its color cinematography and really cool graphics,” Valerie told us of the vivid and dreamy series, “He is one of my favorite auteurs. Anna Karina inspires me quite a bit…I love the feeling of melancholy, and I strive to express that through my work.”
Two years before her projection series, Valerie first took an interest in working behind the lens.
“I was browsing Flickr after my friend told me about a place to share some of my travel photos,” she told us of her earliest work. “The travel photos have since been replaced by portraits and fashion work. I’ve always really loved to create pictures; I drew when I was little, but I think photography is the only art form that can be real and surreal at the same time. It’s real because you are reproducing exactly what you see, but surreal in that you can manipulate the photos however you would like. It’s like painting with your imagination and, if you’re successful, seeing it come to life right before your eyes.”
Despite (or perhaps because of) her lack of professional experience, many of Valerie’s images would not be out of place in the pages of a glossy magazine, with style and fashion playing an important role in their composition and focus.
“I style all of my shoots, and styling is very important to me. I think many people underestimate the power of a great location and a great wardrobe. They can really make or break a photograph. I spend a lot of time location scouting and scouring the internet to find exactly (or almost exactly) the right clothes.”
Valerie’s work is incredibly exciting for her ability to merge her youthful approach with her encyclopedic knowledge of, and passion for, all that has come before her.