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Meet Kat Liu of Pixelcharge Photos in Logan Square

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kat Liu.

Kat, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My work ethic comes from my immigrant parents.

My Mom came to America with little money and a dream to have her own Chinese-American restaurant. She successfully owned that restaurant for 30 years with my Dad, working up to seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm. They provided for my Brother and me to have a life unlike theirs, without the struggles they’ve faced. With their open-mindedness, we pursued careers in psychology and art.

Seeing how hard my parents worked to get to where they are in order to give my brother and me a better life is truly my motivation in all the things I do.

My Mom never finished high school and my Dad didn’t until he was much older, education for their kids was a top priority. I am fortunate enough to have earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Art with my parents as my backbone.

It’s funny because I was never one for academics. I seriously contemplated dropping out of school many times. And now, in the strange way that life works, I teach at the collegiate level.

If you told 18-year-old me that I would be a Professor in the future, I would have scoffed in your face. But present-day me really loves my job and teaching students all about photography and art.

Besides teaching, I also work as a lens-based artist and as a commercial photographer at Pixelcharge Photos, which I co-own and manage with my Husband.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Things are always harder for artists and creators of color.

Historically, the art world in America wasn’t made to include us much like many other aspects in our lives.

That is always the struggle.

I’m always thinking of ways to make people react to my work – I want them to care, remember, and contemplate.

Please tell us about your art and Pixelcharge Photos.
My art focuses on my Asian American Identity and navigating America as a woman of color and as a child of immigrants. So far, I’ve been making work in the mediums of photography, video, and sound. You’ll see my face and body in a lot of my works because my work is based on my personal experiences and I’ve never fit the mold of the stereotypical Asian woman. I’m proud to be making art about my culture and about important issues such as violence against womxn of color.

My commercial photography business started when my then boyfriend, now Husband and I started working on some projects together and realized how good of a team we make. We have been working as Pixelcharge Photos since 2016. We specialize in studio photography.

We are both people of color who are establishing ourselves within an industry of the majority. As minorities, we aim to support, work, and collaborate with other companies that share our experiences in hopes to foster a much stronger creative community.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?

Everything, both negative and positive experiences, has made me stronger and brought me to where and who I am today.

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