“Photography is like any sport,” says Hasselblad heroine Gigi Chung
Gigi Ching, winner of the 2022 Hasselblad Heroines, is a photographer, artist and creative strategist based in California, USA. Specializing in urban abstractions and choreographed urban spaces, her work is minimalist yet bold and vibrant.
During her career, she has exhibited all over the world, including in galleries and museums in Athens, Glasgow, New York and Taipei. Gigi is no stranger to awards and recognition, with her recent accolades including Pollux Architecture Prize Winner, Kyotographiue KG plus Featured Artist, Tokyo International Foto Awards Top 5 Jury Picks, and more. recently, she was recognized as a Hasselblad heroine.
We caught up with Gigi after the announcement to discuss what inspired her to pursue photography, what it means to be a Hasselblad heroine, and the obstacles she faced to get where she is today.
How old were you when you started photography?
I took a film photography course with my friend at university. I didn’t think too much about this experience until I joined a local camera club in the San Francisco Bay Area. As I learned about the different genres of photography, I became more and more interested in impressionism and abstraction.
Who or what inspired you to do this?
My father taught architecture and he brought his camera with him for different projects. I will accompany you from time to time. Surveying buildings and taking pictures of facades were part of my growth process. Specializing in architectural abstraction has become second nature to me.
Do you have a favorite photo or project you’ve worked on?
“Emergence”, the black and white series exhibited at the Hasselblad Japan Tokyo Store Gallery in 2019, and “Geometric Abstraction”, the color series which won the jury’s Top 5 at the Tokyo International Foto Awards 2020. It is a difficult question to answer. As an artist, I would fall in love with every project I work on. The two projects mentioned have earned me recognition and various commissioning opportunities.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be brave, be open and start getting excited young. Go on a journey and meet local artists, singers, dancers and poets. Cross-training in different disciplines will rewire the brain to see things from different perspectives.
What does it mean to you to have been chosen as a Hasselblad heroine?
I’m honored to have been chosen as the Hasselblad heroine. It motivates me to be a better version of myself; allows me to raise awareness in the female creative community around the world. I am a strong believer in education and creating opportunities for female photographers to be seen. That’s why I plan to create a platform for peer review of female photographers in the coming year.
What was your biggest obstacle to get where you are?
Doubt me. I think it’s a phase that all artists would go through, regardless of age. In fact, any discipline that requires hours of practice or lots of trial and error would go through this stage. Photography is like any sport. Instead of training in muscle memory, photographers train their eyes and brain in “how to see”.
To follow Gigi’s work, follow her on Instagram.
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