Interview: Jill Chu
Luca Curci talks with Jill Chu during VISIONS, third appointment of ANIMA MUNDI 2022, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Jill Chu is a UX designer, jewelry designer and internationally awarded photographer who was born and raised in Taiwan and is now based in San Francisco, U.S.A.. Through her artworks, she explores herself through her consciousness and subconsciousness, experimenting with a deeper portrayal that intertwines her thoughts, dreams, intuition and their relationships. Jill has a deep passion for creating artwork through photography. From a young age she knew her passion was in the creative field. She exhibits her artworks around the world, including in the U.S., and Europe.
Luca Curci – How did you get to photography? Do you remember why you took your first professional photo?
Jill Chu – As a young child, I’ve always captivated by the pictures that my family shared with me and the stories beyond the images. I’ve always been fascinated and curious by how a camera can capture a moment in time and make it last forever but a mystery shrouds the moment, all left to imagination, influenced and inspired by the moment. That moment can’t be reproduced in reality and has passed. I’ve always been an avid photographer since I was 14 years old. When I moved to San Francisco and attended the Academy of Art University, I took a digital photography class with Eric Stampfli and became a professional and realized I could unleash my creativity via this medium. The first professional image I took was when I was working at an agency in San Francisco. The reason why I took my first professional photo was because we were doing a project for Chevron®’s online store. I still remember the creative process started with playing with the Chevron toy cars which I had a lot of fun with so it made working on taking like a hundred product images seem so effortless. My professional task was really for me a way to play with my creativity.
LC – According to you, what makes a good photo?
JC – A good photo tells a story beyond one’s imagination, it should capture a moment of one’s universe and leave an impression to the viewers. Although the image is either staged or captured at a moment of time, it should somehow resonate with the viewers and touch a deep emotional, spiritual or metaphysical aspect of their being.
LC – Which details do you focus on?
JC – I love to focus on the details of the concept and how I translate the story onto an image. In this project, my focus was on self-image and personal struggle that I have been dealing with since I was a teen. Staying beautiful has been a consistent battle I have to try to understand, handle and conquer, at times it hurt me mentally, emotionally or left me on a path that I needed to unwind. I used simple and clean composition so the viewer could focus on the object / subject right away. I took the pictures in black and white to convey the challenges I have in the moment of time and wanted the raw emotions.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
JC – I find my inspiration through people, my dreams and when I am in a meditative state/daydreaming. I love people watching, seeing them interact with each other or just simply being by themselves. They spark my curiosity about what conversation they are having? Is she/he happy or sad right? I like to challenge myself and turn my dream into reality (images), the creative process is always fun, and rewarding, if the images turn out right.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
JC – I always feel very rewarded, and encouraged when I complete them. At times, I would re-work on the old subjects and see if it would turn out differently, better or worse.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
JC – I have mixed feelings about it. I feel extremely lucky to live in a world where technology is more accessible. I can simply use my iPhone and work on my art, as long as my phone is charged. On the contrary, since everyone is a photographer I sometimes feel there are excessive images everywhere. I need to spend time thinking about what may be perceived as ‘good’ and not put out all my work.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
JC – Definitely! I think my series of work fits right in. Thanks ANIMA MUNDI VISION for the opportunity so I can share my deep emotions, through my work,that I believe many people have and will resonate with and will inspire them through my work and bring more awareness.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
JC – The theme Vision and the location where the exhibition happened has an absolute connection with my works. Artists around the world were connected in exquisite venues where inspiration, freedom and expressions commingled.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
JC – The connection and experience was smooth, pleasant, and professional. It was my pleasure and delight cooperating with you.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
JC – I am grateful as an artist to have my work exhibited through ITSLIQUID, where you provide exposure, and connection opportunities to all artists around the world. It’s incredible.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
JC – I think the exhibition turned out successful. By looking at the videos and pictures, I regretted that I couldn’t be there. The project manager Giuila Tassi has been an amazing communicator and made the whole process easy, and joyful.