Discovery: Jen Chia

Robbie Fimmano


Age: 23. Hometown: I was born in Nebraska. Then I moved to San Francisco, New York City, New Jersey, and went to college in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Now I’m back in New York. Reason for returning to New York: I technically took a medical leave from MIT for having an organ removed—my gall bladder, one of the nonessential ones. I went there thinking I was gonna do some science-y math thing. You know Asian parents, like, “Oh, my God, you got into MIT—you have to go!” But senior year I left and moved into this kind of artists’ commune in a warehouse up in Astoria, Queens. Currently resides: Flatbush, Brooklyn. Day job: I was doing some art installations, which bled into construction work, wielding tools. The smell of sawdust brings me to a happy place. Career goal: Video editing is my main focus. Making sound and visuals work together, making order out of chaos—there’s an appeal to that for me. Accidental foray into nude modeling: I’m not really sure how that happened. One of Ryan McGinley’s assistants contacted me. I don’t know how I got into their database, but I ended up doing a shoot with him. They didn’t let me go on the trampoline, though. I was kind of sad about that. Role model: Michel Gondry. I’ve met him a couple of times. He’s a cool guy—he played with my cat. I like the way his brain functions. Worst nightmare: I have this one recurring dream where all my teeth fall out.I think I looked up the meaning at some point. It’s probably just death.

Above: Jen Chia in New York, January 2009. Jacket: Gucci. Jeans: Chia’s own. Earrings: Erickson Beamon. Cosmetics: Dior, including Plum Plot Rouge Dior. Fragrance: Gucci by Gucci. Styling: Andreas Kokkino. Hair: Shinichi Arima. Makeup: April Greaves. Special thanks: Fast Ashleys.

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