Chala Jan: Tapestry of Dreams

Opening Reception for "Chala Jan: Tapestry of Dreams" at Rockport Center for the Arts. Exhibition runs April 5 - May 11

Chala Janpraphasakul (Jan) is a photographer, an image maker and a computer programmer. Jan was born and raised in Thailand. In 1998 she immigrated to New York, where she learned a new language and pursued higher education. After graduating from Hunter College, New York, in 2004 with a degree in Computer Science, she relocated to Scranton, Pennsylvania; where she presently lives and works. Jan was introduced to photography in her teenage years. She used a Pentax camera, rolls of black and white film, and regularly visited a darkroom to pull prints using a chemical process.

In Northeast Pennsylvania, Jan picked up a camera once again, and she began to revisit the techniques she learned in high school while exploring various styles of photography. She enrolled at the International Center of Photography (New York City) to understand digital photography techniques and lighting concepts. In her art, she employs traditional event and portrait photography; through experimentation and the flexibility of digital image processing, she creates images of alternative reality- in a surrealist style. Her need to transform her imagination, thoughts, feelings or dreams into a story in an image was satisfied by this application and style.

After attending a workshop on Levitation Photography in 2011, Jan began to hone in on story-telling. She began to take her subjects and incorporating multiplicity, levitation, nature-defined movement and transfiguration. The completed image tells a story and depicts the impossible.

Jan states, “My imagery is destined to be a response to ‘what-if’ questions. Photography is an instrument that allows me to collect elements, which are blended and composed in a way that reflect my imagination. I intend for each of my images to illustrate a story without words. I attempt to let the interpretation flow as long as an image triggers and engages a viewer’s perception.”

She adds, “I love photography because of its endless ability to capture and document the beauty, timelessness and living reality of every existence in our world. Photography provides me with the possibility to translate what I imagine in the domain of non-existence into a photographic frame of composition and manipulation.”

Curator of Exhibitions, Elena Rodriguez states, “Chala’s artwork has this fantastic quality of looking absolutely familiar yet completely implausible. Seeing them in person is a surreal and perspective-altering experience.”

In 2013, Jan received first prize for her entry, Author, into the Northeastern Biennial. The Biennial was juried by David Rubin; former Brown Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Rubin now works in Los Angeles.

Jan’s solo exhibition, Tapestry of Dreams, opens to the public on Friday, April 5. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Saturday, April 6, from 5 to 7 PM. A gallery talk with Jan will commence at 5:30 PM. Tapestry of Dreams will be on display through May 11, 2019.

During her visit, Jan will be imparting a 2-day workshop titled Create Flight of Fancy Through Photography. Participants will learn and employ editing techniques using base element images.