Artist on the Edge: Alison Chen

 Detailing a great artist who loves to explore and continue to learn, Alison Chen is truly an artist on the edge!

Firstly, Alison, what is (are) your medium(s) of creative expression? How long have you been studying and working at your medium?

I began photographing while I was at Cornell in undergrad.  I was always pretty creative since early on, but when I got to college I really struggled with my studios. It was during my first 
photography class sophomore year that I found my voice.  It was instantaneous. And as my work developed, I became interested in the indexical quality of the photograph and my work became intertwined with the medium. 

I have recently began moving towards video, and am finding that to be wonderful in conjunction with photography.

What shows have you been in? Are you represented by any company right now? Are you an independent artist?

I am not represented by any gallery or company right now.  I am enrolled MFA in Photography and Related Media at Parsons, the New School for Design.  I also was part of a Juried Exhibition at Larson Gallery in Washington State and exhibited at the Newark Museum in conjunction with an artist residency I completed there. 

A bunch of friends from Cornell and I have exhibited together in group shows.  It is refreshing to keep in touch with a close network of peers and converse about ideas that we are interested in.

What is your inspiration to begin working on a piece? Where do you go to gather inspiration? Where do you and your friends go to view art and collaborate?

I gather inspiration from almost everything.  It can start as an image, idea, question.  And over time it grows and grows.  For instance, I have had this mental image of image occurring  in slow motion for some time now.  I am not really entirely sure where it came from, but I let that image grow and build in my head.  I have just begun to pursue this in my work, in multiple different ways. 

Right now my work is dealing with our dreams and the links between our subconscious and conscious.  So really, the inspiration comes from everyday life — both awake and asleep.  I am constantly filming and photographing whatever strikes me at the time.  I think often times it is easy to wait for inspiration, and sit and ponder.  I have to remind myself that making art is a journey, and the best part of is just doing, and then finding what it is you are making.

Do you often collaborate with other artists?

Its funny you should ask, I am starting to collaborate with Nicole Tariverdian, an artist whom I met in my BFA.  We always seem to be dancing in conversation with each other, dealing with topics that oddly intertwine. We had the chance to show together at Spark Contemporary Art Space in a show entitled “Translated Memento”.  But who knows, this is just the beginning!

Can you also please list where people can view or buy your work, whether a link or address. Also, could you attach a photo you use for press releases of yourself and a picture of a work of yours.

My work can be found at  If anyone is interested in purchasing my work, they can email me at

Photo credit: Alison Chen

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