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Meet Georgianna Chiang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georgianna Chiang.

Georgianna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was seven years old when my mother put a camera in my hand and told me to take pictures of her. We were in Europe for her studies abroad program. I photographed her through Spain, Italy, Paris… and this practice of “looking and capturing” followed me through the rest of my teenage years and into my studies of Fine Art at UCLA. As a teenager, I rebelled against her desire for me to become an artist. She wanted me to be a cultured, Asian-American French-speaking creative (I studied at Le Lycée Francais de Los Angeles from the age of 6 to 13). I was always attracted to narrative. I read a new novel each week and wanted to hear everyone’s stories, histories, journeys.

When I was a teenager, I wove this fascination with narrative, photography, and travel together. During a family trip to Taiwan (my mother was full Taiwanese and born in Hsin-Chu (a city in Northern Taiwan), I created a visual narrative about my Great Uncle’s apartment, photographing every inch of furniture and hoarded material crammed into his one-bedroom home. He was a severe hoarder, smoker, with a gentle, loving spirit. The piece titled, “Ancestral Belongings (Taiwan)” took the viewer through typical areas of a home, kitchen, living room, etc… yet each room is indistinguishable due to the arrangement of objects. One man’s junk is another’s man’s tokens of history.

I went on to create other visual narratives like this throughout my studies. When my mother passed away in 2016, during my last year of college, I decided to take the year after graduation to travel and process. I visited many temples throughout Nepal, India, Japan, always seeking some form of “spirit”. Upon my return, I organized my first solo photography show and realized that my photos were similar to the ones I took during that initial trip to Europe when I was seven years old.

Fast forward three years and I now work as Executive Assistant to one of Los Angeles’ most inspiring, creative individuals (Pamela Shamshiri of Studio Shamshiri), and I’m still surrounded by narrative. Narrative shown through aesthetics, objects, spaces, and imagery, etc… I still curate group and individual art openings and maintain my own projects.

Currently, I am focused on painting, sculpture, and ceramics. I want simple, physical objects to tell a story… I’ve recently become obsessed with Catherine the Great of Russia, and am working on a project related to her. I reference the traditions and rituals of other cultures in a great deal of my work and am influenced by mythology and relics.

As I was so greatly influenced by my connection to my mother, women: historical women, creative women and powerful women are important for me to surround myself with. Certain characteristics or ways they impact/impacted the world stand as representations for the direction I try to move my life in.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Is there such a thing as a smooth road?

I grew up with a single mother so the pressure to be a very supportive role for her affected the way I related to everyone around me. My impulse to give and support has often gotten in the way of my focus towards myself and my own work. That being said, it’s a part of who I am, and I am a good human being for it.

The unfolding of my identity is a constant journey. When my mother passed away I felt extremely disconnected from the rest of the world. It is a very chaotic experience and I felt as if I was floating in a weird limbo. I was 21 at the time. It’s challenging to not have guidance during such formative years… It’s so important to have that figure to reflect back your own strengths and areas of improvement to you, but I’ve had to reparent myself and encourage my own pursuits. I know I will be one hell of an adult because of it and I’m already proud of who I am thus far.

I recently gained guardianship over my 15-year-old brother, he, my mother and I were very close. I was terrified during the process of litigation, as his former guardian did not want to relinquish her place. I fought hard and learned the importance of perseverance.

These moments of triumph have passed quickly… Accomplishments that took months to work towards are over in seconds once achieved. It is human nature to constantly want to expand. We often think that if we sit and recognize how far we’ve come, actually praise ourselves, we will never get to where we want to be. I’m currently working on accepting who and where I am right now. I have overcome a great deal and I want to be mindful of appreciating myself with what I’ve achieved thus far. This is important for all areas of work, relationships (to self and others), life, etc…

Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
I am an artist, a storyteller, and an explorer. I specialize in art curation, painting, sculpture, and art journalism. I’m more known for my photography and photojournalism. I am most proud of my ability to adapt and willingness to evolve. I started off as an artist curating individual and group shows in whatever gallery would have me, into a freelance photographer, creating photo commissions for commercial businesses, to painter creating painting commissions, to assistant in the design world. Now I am working on birthing my next desire… There is room for it all.

My intuitive ability to relate to others is what makes my practices so strong. This ability makes storytelling and story creating very fluid for me. I select different aspects of experiences I have and people I meet and integrate them into an art piece or project. Life is a great reference point to jump off of…

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success means being able to perform an act, service, identity or production that gives fulfillment and purpose (to the person offering it) for the exchange of enough financial abundance to sustain one’s lifestyle and more. When the service that is being given is appreciated and praised for the individual’s unique way of offering it. To do this surrounded by a network of people, geographical locations, and experiences that inspires and nourishes the individual’s life.

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Georgianna Chiang

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