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"Photography is like any sport" says Hasselblad Heroine, Gigi Chung

Hasselblad Heroines 2022
(Image credit: Gigi Chung)

Hasselblad Heroines 2022 winner Gigi Ching 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 at galleries and museums in Athens, Glasgow, New York and Taipei. Gigi is no stranger to awards and recognition, with her recent accolades including the Pollux Awards architecture winner, Kyotographiue KG plus featured artist, Tokyo International Foto Awards Top 5 jury picks, and most recently she's been recognized as a Hasselblad Heroine. 

We caught up with Gigi following the announcement to discuss what inspired her to pursue photography, what being a Hasselblad Heroine meant and what obstacles she's faced to get to where she is today.

How old were you when you first took up photography?

I took a film photography class with my friend in college. I wasn't thinking too much about that experience until I joined a local camera club in the San Francisco Bay Area. As I learned about the different genres of photography, I got increasingly interested in impressionism and abstraction.  

Who or what inspired you to do so?

My dad used to teach architecture and he would bring his camera with him to different projects. I would tag along once in a while. Surveying buildings and taking photos of facades were all part of my growing-up 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 Hasselblad Japan Tokyo Store Gallery in 2019, and 'Geometric Abstraction', the color series which won the Top 5 Jury Pick at Tokyo International Foto Awards 2020. This is a difficult question to answer. As an artist, I would fall in love with every single project I work on. The two projects mentioned have won me recognition and various commissioned opportunities.

(Image credit: Gigi Chung)

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Be brave, be open and start picking up hobbies young. Go travel and meet with local artists, singers, dancers and poets.  Cross-training in different disciplines will rewire the brain to see things in different perspectives.

What does it mean to you on being chosen as a Hasselblad Heroine?

I am honored to be chosen as a Hasselblad Heroine. This motivates me to be a better version of myself; empowers me to raise awareness in the female creative community in the world. I strongly believe in education and creating opportunities for women photographers to be seen. That's why I am planning on creating a platform for female photographers' peer review in the coming year.

What has been your biggest obstacle in getting to where you are?

Doubting myself. I think this is a phase all artists would go through regardless of age. As a matter of fact, any discipline that requires hours of practice or numerous trials and errors would go through this stage. Photography is like any sport. Instead of training for muscle memory, photographers train their eyes and brains on "how to see". 

To keep up with Gigi's work, follow her on Instagram.

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Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specialises in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylised product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.