“My photographs of the East End of Long Island are personal interpretations of a landscape that derives its beauty and power from the earth’s palate and ever-changing seasons.
I seek to evoke a mood rather than capture the minute visual details of a particular view, so I will manipulate the camera, shifting the focus plane, to create scenes that are deliberately blurred. The photographs are dominated by intense color and a gentle abstraction.
The horizon, the sea, the sand and the beach grass of Long Island all make their appearances, but in dreamlike forms, inviting the viewer to share my personal connection with the landscape.” — PC
Philippe Cheng was born and raised in New York City and educated at The School of Visual Arts and New York University. In the early 1990’s he worked at Magnum Photos, assisting photographers Gilles Peress, Inge Morath, Erich Hartmann and Eve Arnold.. He currently maintains a studio in New York City and in Bridgehampton, New York, where he does both commercial and fine art photography.
Cheng’s fine art photography is included in many private collections. He is the winner of the Heckscher Museum’s 2014 and 2016 Long Island Biennial.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work
PHILIPPE CHENG speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ YOU HAVE DEVELOPED A SIGNATURE STYLE WITH YOUR BLURRED PHOTOGRAPHS. WHAT’S BEHIND THIS?
PC/ My process simply really about translating and interpreting feelings to a surface. Technique, although interesting unto itself, is a means to an end. What really interests me are the feelings of a moment, of a place, of a line… A color field or gesture that can elicit an emotion.
CM/ DID THIS PROCESS EVOLVE FROM MORE TRADITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY?
PC/ Many other parts of my creative life are done “in focus.” In fact, when I first started photographing here the images were in focus, but while beautiful, they did not speak to the emotion of being this place, in this air and light.
CM/ HOW DOES THIS AREA INFLUENCE OR INFILTRATE YOUR WORK?
PC/ Where to begin?
CM/ WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR ON THE EAST END?
PC/ Every season presents an opportunity and the understanding of the East End light is an evolving process.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE SPOTS ON THE EAST END?
PC/ There is a wealth of this all here, so the answer depends on the moment, the season, the company… The short answer is no favorite, only surprised to find places that are around the corner without knowing they existed so close.
CM/ DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM THE HISTORY OF THE ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST MOVEMENT ON THE EAST END?
PC/ Self-explanatory in that it is inescapable.