Chala Janpraphasakul is a Scranton-based photographer, an image maker and a computer programmer. Born and raised in Thailand until 1998 when she arrived in New York, learning a new language and getting education in order. After graduating from Hunter College, New York, in 2004 with a Computer Science degree, she relocated to Scranton, PA, and has held a position in a software company. Chala was introduced to photography during her teenage years. A Pentax camera, rolls of black and white film, a darkroom, chemical and prints. But that was a short exposure to photography before many life elements presented themselves as invitation to explore other routes.
During the years in Northeast Pennsylvania, Chala picked up a camera again, revisited the basic knowledge she learned back in highschool. As she explored various styles of photography, she signed up at the International Center of Photography for a well-grounded understanding in digital photography techniques and lighting. She has implemented and polished the traditional knowledge on real-world tasks of capturing events and portraits. Although through experiment and the flexibility of digital image processing, she was inspired to apply photography as a medium to create images of alternative reality.
She was drawn to a surrealist style of photography and found it satisfied her need to transform her imagination, thoughts, feelings or dreams into a story in an image. After attending a workshop on Levitation Photography in 2011, Chala focused on story-telling while creating her images as well as the visual dynamic essence that invokes a viewer’s perception. She merges her subjects with multiplicity, levitation and movements in order to tell a story and to depict the impossible.
My imagery is destined to be a response to my ‘what-if’ questions. Photography is an instrument that allows me to collect elements, which are blended and composed in a way that reflects 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.
My love of photography is for its endless ability to capture and document the beauty, timelessness and living reality of every existence in our world. Moreover, 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. The world is so vast and possesses endless beauty waiting to be chased after and captured photographically for me. However, I prefer using photography to create alternative reality, where I am in control yet free to create a visual flow and depict endless combinations of possibilities in my imagery.
I take inspiration from my surroundings and then inject the factors of impossibility into it. I often apply multiplicity, levitation and metamorphosis to the subjects in my images. If one asks themselves the ‘what, when, where, why and how’ questions about their surroundings, the first answer that flashes in their mind can make an extremely dynamic image, given that one needs to train their imagination to wander beyond the realm of possibility.