SVA Alumnus Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao Featured in NY Magazine Article "Our Lesser Islands"

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SVA MFA Photo/Video '05 alumnus Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao has been featured in the NY Magazine article "Our Lesser Islands" by Robert Sullivan. The article goes in-depth, exploring and expanding upon the narratives and legacies of New York's "overlooked" islands, utilizing an atmospheric and insightful portfolio of images by Liao in order to highlight not only the natural splendors which still abound today, but also how time and civilization have shaped the various infrastructures and dynamics of each respective island, creating a grand perspective of the bits and pieces that make up what we know today as New York.

Link to the full article on NY Mag website: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/08/touring-the-overlooked-islands-of-new-york-city.html

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao's website: http://www.jeffchienhsingliao.com/

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao,  Long Island Sound, Hart Island    “In August 1971, 18,000 young people took a ferry from City Island, in the Bronx, to Hart Island, then as now the city’s burial ground, for a drug-and-alcohol-free music festival to raise money for Phoenix House, which for a short time ran an addiction-treatment center there. ‘On the mile-long Island, young people in jeans and colorful T-shirts lounged around the spacious festival grounds, enjoyed hamburgers and pizzas, went on rides, tossed baseballs for Kewpie dolls and listened to several rock bands in concert,’ according to one account. Four pot smokers were asked to leave the island. ”

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, Long Island Sound, Hart Island

“In August 1971, 18,000 young people took a ferry from City Island, in the Bronx, to Hart Island, then as now the city’s burial ground, for a drug-and-alcohol-free music festival to raise money for Phoenix House, which for a short time ran an addiction-treatment center there. ‘On the mile-long Island, young people in jeans and colorful T-shirts lounged around the spacious festival grounds, enjoyed hamburgers and pizzas, went on rides, tossed baseballs for Kewpie dolls and listened to several rock bands in concert,’ according to one account. Four pot smokers were asked to leave the island.

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao,  Long Island Sound, High Island    “The radio tower pictured here has been known to transmit as far as Chicago, California, and even Japan.”

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, Long Island Sound, High Island

“The radio tower pictured here has been known to transmit as far as Chicago, California, and even Japan.”

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao,  Lower Bay, Swinburne   " From a 1929 newspaper report: ‘Swinburne Island, abandoned Federal plague station, known and dreaded by superstitious immigrants as the Island of the Dead, has been despoiled by vandals from Staten Island beaches nearby. Drunken bathers of both sexes have broken into the mortuary. Using the old crematory as the scene of their destruction, they have smashed dozens of urns, scattering to the winds the ashes of foreigners who died at America’s gateway.’ ”

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, Lower Bay, Swinburne

"From a 1929 newspaper report: ‘Swinburne Island, abandoned Federal plague station, known and dreaded by superstitious immigrants as the Island of the Dead, has been despoiled by vandals from Staten Island beaches nearby. Drunken bathers of both sexes have broken into the mortuary. Using the old crematory as the scene of their destruction, they have smashed dozens of urns, scattering to the winds the ashes of foreigners who died at America’s gateway.’

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao,  East River, Roosevelt Island   “ Today, tourists take the tram to Roosevelt to see the cherry blossoms at the finally finished FDR memorial by Louis Kahn. In 1842, while visiting so-called slums in New York, Charles Dickens took a boat there to see the Octagon Tower, New York’s new so-called insane asylum. ‘Everything had a lounging, listless, madhouse air, which was very painful,’ he wrote. ‘The moping idiot, cowering down with long disheveled hair; the gibbering maniac, with his hideous laugh and pointed finger; the vacant eye, the fierce wild face, the gloomy picking of the hands and lips, and munching of the nails: there they were all, without disguise, in naked ugliness and horror.’ The creator of Scrooge liked the architecture, calling it ‘spacious and elegant.’ In 2006, it was converted to luxury rentals: a two-bedroom, two-bath goes for $4,700 a month. ”

Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao, East River, Roosevelt Island

Today, tourists take the tram to Roosevelt to see the cherry blossoms at the finally finished FDR memorial by Louis Kahn. In 1842, while visiting so-called slums in New York, Charles Dickens took a boat there to see the Octagon Tower, New York’s new so-called insane asylum. ‘Everything had a lounging, listless, madhouse air, which was very painful,’ he wrote. ‘The moping idiot, cowering down with long disheveled hair; the gibbering maniac, with his hideous laugh and pointed finger; the vacant eye, the fierce wild face, the gloomy picking of the hands and lips, and munching of the nails: there they were all, without disguise, in naked ugliness and horror.’ The creator of Scrooge liked the architecture, calling it ‘spacious and elegant.’ In 2006, it was converted to luxury rentals: a two-bedroom, two-bath goes for $4,700 a month.