A series of panoramic time-lapse views of the famous seaside amusement district at Coney Island are gracing the walls of the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway complex through an art installation posted today by MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design. The photographs are by Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, who focuses on the diversity and vistas found in each of New York City’s boroughs.
Liao created the series by using a tripod for long exposures that capture and compress time within each panoramic frame. As dusk turns to evening and neon takes center stage, Liao brings the viewer into the picture though his technique of wide angle and expansive viewpoint.
“He brings us into the crowd, on the boardwalk, in front of the rides, the subway station and Nathan’s – everything one would want from an evening in Coney Island,” said Lester Burg, Manager, MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design. “As businesses return and the attractions gear up again after Superstorm Sandy, we thought it was timely to remind straphangers how wonderful Coney Island is, and these photographs capture it beautifully.”
The motion and garish lights of the amusements were designed to attract attention, yet Liao’s photographs are carefully crafted to speak with a quieter voice. Most of the images were taken after dusk and with the use of time exposures, Liao is able to craft a soft and expressive color palette that creates an atmosphere both moody and mysterious.
Liao recently published a book containing his Coney Island photographs, “Coney Island” (Nazraeli Press). In the introduction, Museum of the City of New York Curator of Prints and Photography Sean Corcoran writes, that the “large-scale prints have a visual sweep often associated with cinema, encompassing the viewer and providing a strong sense of place.”
About MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design’s Lightbox Program
MTA Arts for Transit and Urban Design’s Lightbox Program exhibits bright, vivid and engaging collections of photographs to enliven subway passageways and the underground environment. Photographers are primarily New York-based and explore the known or the unexpected in works that benefit from large scale and the series format, with seven or eight images in a row. The large scale lightboxes are illuminated from within and the images are printed on duratrans film by local providers who donate their services.
Lightbox exhibitions are located at four key sites: Grand Central Terminal’s Dining Concourse, 42 Street-Bryant Park, Bowling Green and Atlantic Av-Barclays Center.
The Coney Island exhibit is on view through 2013 and is generously sponsored by Digital Plus.