Meet a VC Summer Intern: Yong-Yi Chiang


Visual Communications (VC) is excited to welcome our Summer ‘18 Interns! This summer, the VC family has grown by four interns, coming from different programs all around Los Angeles. Starting off #VCInternFriday is Yong-Yi Chiang, a Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern, with her intern experience so far.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Yong-Yi Chiang and I just graduated from UCLA! After this summer, I am planning to move to Shanghai for a year. I’m really looking forward to learn more about the relationship between Taiwan and China and forming a better understanding of my own identity.

What do you do at VC?

I am the Exhibitions Program intern. This summer, I will be working closely with another intern to plan "Home Is in the Heart: Seniors Making Movies," a showcase of short films created by seniors from our Digital Histories class. 

What is something that you’re working on that stands out to you?

I am currently trying to figure out ways we can improve our Armed with the Camera Fellowship. I’ve been researching different programs aimed towards helping filmmakers with marginalized identities, so it’s been interesting to see what other organizations are doing to uplift these voices and experiences.

What is your favorite thing about VC?

My favorite part of VC is that it really feels like a family, and definitely a big one. I remember during the 2018 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, whenever we took a staff photo, everyone was always yelling everyone’s name because we wanted to make sure everyone was in the picture. Even though we didn’t always have a lot of time between screenings, we would always make sure that everyone was fed. There’s a lot of love in VC and it’s really a privilege to be surrounded by people who are rooting for you.

Describe your life using film titles.

Fast and Furious
As Good As It Gets
American Beauty
The Disaster Artist

My Experience as a Getty Intern

by Yong-Yi Chiang

For my first hub day, I met up with around a group of 18 Getty interns at the Chinese American Museum. We were greeted with a warm welcome from our hub leader, Kimberly Zarate, who is currently the Exhibitions Coordinator and Collections Manager at the Chinese American Museum. It was really exciting to meet the other interns and hear about their experiences at various locations, such as the LA Conservancy and the Women’s Center for Creative Work.

Our first stop was the La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. We were lucky enough to get a tour from the curators of ¡YA BASTA! The East L.A. Walkouts and the Power of Protest, an exhibition that explores the inequalities in education and the mobilization of Mexican and Mexican Americans during 1968. The exhibition brought to life the East L.A. Walkouts through a plethora of documents, posters, photographs, contemporary art, and more. At the same time, the curators were intentional about connecting the past to the present by recognizing how student activism continuously tackles on large social issues in strategic ways. The exhibition challenged the dominant narrative that the East L.A. Walkouts were disorganized and ineffective, perpetuated by popular media as a way to discount the efforts of the Latinx community.


After a lunch break with various curators, we headed towards the Vincent Price Art Museum. I particularly gravitated towards an exhibition called Soul Mining. This exhibition displayed how the Chinese Exclusion Act effectively pushed out Chinese immigrants out of the U.S. and into Mexico and Latin America. As a Chinese American, I did not know anything about the Chinese Mexican identity. One installation that resonated with me was a bright red neon sign that said “This is not Spanish” in Chinese. For Mexicans reading the sign, it may not have made sense, similar to the way Chinese immigrants in Mexico had to navigate a new language with constant public reminders of their otherness. The curator was conscious about not necessarily labeling this accessibility to the world for Mexicans as a privilege, but rather a result of being part of the dominant culture. I was amazed to see how much I still have to learn about the Chinese diaspora. I appreciated our hub leader’s intentionality of choosing exhibitions that we as interns of color could see ourselves in.


Besides the incredible exhibitions, I am grateful for the conversations I had that day. As we took the metro back, I struck a conversation with Kimberly Zarate. She shared that it was her first time being a hub leader. She explained that she did not want to just cram a bunch of museums in a day, but rather she wanted to give us the time to get to know each other. It was also inspiring to see how her experiences as a past Getty intern motivated her to continue to give back to this program. During my conversations with other Getty interns, I found out that most of us were commuting to our internships via public transportation. As we moaned and groaned about LA’s soul-sucking traffic, it was also a testament to the determination of people of color trying to make it in the arts. Overall, it was empowering to see visibility of people of color in spaces that we have historically been excluded from.