We had the good fortune of connecting with Shan Jiang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shan, what inspires you?
I usually combine different elements into a single idea using pictures that I took. I have pictures from my daily life all over the place, an abandoned doll in front of Starbucks, a sign at Little Tokyo that says follow your nightmares or my friend’s wedding photo, or a selfie.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think what I was trying to do it’s to bring myself to the mindset as if film had just been invented, like around the 1910s, then figure out an original method of planning the make of the film. It could look experimental, but it could come with a unique honesty, which I think it’s highly effective to bring out the emotion.
It was pretty hard for me to get to this point. To make the piece authentic requires courage, both the courage to face my own fear and the courage to own a good amount of confidence, unfortunately I’m introverted. Over the years, I had friends and family helping me, also reading books, to overcome the lack of courage.
Kieslowski said that all his films are just to tell people the need to open up, I think that’s also what I want to express.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Day 1, Chinatown for getting daily necessities, then pho for lunch, get boba at Little Tokyo, maybe a horror film at Grove 14 at night.
Day 2, tour of large prop houses, kbbq for lunch, visit some local friends together, get some late night donuts if we have time.
Day 3, maybe I would be on set, so potentially it’s a on set day tour with the friend.
Day 4, Long Beach, Manhattan beach, Malibu then back to Santa Monica for seafood.
Day 5, Salt Lake day, bring homemade food on the way, visit the Bombay Ruins, see some local pictures from the 50s, and stay at an Airbnb at night.
Day 6, Getty, then Moca, hotpot at Pasadena at night then go to a house rave if possible.
Day 7, shopping day, because this friend of mine might want to bring some gifts back, then force this friend to have the second hotpot before leaving.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom was supporting me unconditionally the entire time. I come from a pretty conservative Chinese family, which they don’t consider working in the entertainment industry as a serious idea, except my mom. We would talk about popular shows, how themes changed through the decades, and even how young actors broke into the industry. She supported me and having faith in me all these years, I wouldn’t have done anything with her.