Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

About Lia

Lia Chang. Photo by Tony Jee

Lia Chang. Photo by Tony Jee

Lia Chang is an actor,  a photographer, an award-winning multi-platform journalist and an award-winning filmmaker.

Lia recently received a Best Actress, Asian American Film Lab 72 Hour Shootout of 2015 nomination for starring in her 1st indie short film, Hide and Seek, made with her producing partner Garth Kravits, and it was named among the top ten winning films.

Lia has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman, “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live” and “New York Undercover”. Chang has hosted the series “Film Lab Presents”.

Lia was a syndicated columnist for KYODO News, writing about arts and entertainment in her What’s Hot in New York column from 1995-2004. Her in-depth features and photographs have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and her Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

Lia is a National Tropical Botanical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow, a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media and a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age. She is the recipient of the Asian American Journalists Association 2001 National Award for New Media and the Organization of Chinese Americans 2000 Chinese American Journalist Award. Avenue Magazine named her one of the “One Hundred Most Influential Asian Americans” in 1997. She is featured in Joann Faung Jean Lee’s book “Asian American actors: oral histories from stage, screen, and television”.

Selections of Lia Chang’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans are now in the Lia Chang Theater Portfolio in the APA Performing Arts Archives housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection. The historical importance of these rehearsal photographs is in its documentation of Asian American theater in a working and evolving environment. The camera captures the spontaneous interactions among actors, playwright, stage director, choreographer, producer, and musicians before opening night.

Portraits from Lia’s Asian American Pioneer Series are published in Chinese Americans: The Immigrant Experience by Peter Kwong and Dusanka Miscevic (Filmmaker Ang Lee, Playwright David Henry Hwang, Fashion Designers Yeohlee and David Chu, Author Maxine Hong Kingston, Reporter Ti-Hua Chang). Her portraits of notable Chinese Americans have been on view at CAM in Los Angeles (Playwright David Henry Hwang); the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in New York (author C.Y. Lee, Bill Lann Lee and Gary and Mona Lee Locke); the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) in San Francisco (Portraits of New York Chinatown after 9/11) and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles (author and activist Michi Weglyn).

Chang’s photographs are in the permanent collections of the Angel Island Immigration Station, Asian American Federation of New York, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Art Collection and the New York Historical Society.

For Lia’s full list of awards, fellowships and published works , click here.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:

#‎AAIFF2015‬: Top Ten Winning Films of the Film Lab’s 11th Annual ‪#‎72HRSO‬Filmmaking Competition- Awards and Wrap Party Asian American Tweeters Get Special Shout-out in Playbill Retweet! BroadwayGirlNYC’s Picks For Most Useful Theatre Women on Social Media Hide and Seek with Actress Lia Chang An Inside Look at The Fresh Off the Boat Launch Party in New York
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Cast Reunion featured in BLACK BELT MAGAZINE August/September 2015
Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang Future Looks Bright for Asian American Cinema 
Partying at the Closing Night Screening of Wong Fu Productions’ EVERYTHING BEFORE US; AAIFF 2015 Award Winners Announced 
jade magazine: Getting Personal with Lia Chang and her Asian American Arts World
Video: Power Play’s Lorey Hayes and Lia Chang on The Carmen Mathis Show
The Chronicle Features Lorey Hayes’ Power Play
Celebrity Actress, Pauletta Pearson Washington returns home to North Carolina starring at 2013 National Black Theatre festival with Roscoe Orman (“Sesame Street,” Willie Dynamite) and all star cast in Lorey Hayes’ award-winning “Power Play”, a play about Politics, Passion and The Power of God Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman Lead Cast in Revival of Lorey Hayes’ POWER PLAY
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Crafting a Career
Nurse Lia on One Life to Live
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999 Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Photos: On the town with Rick Shiomi, Co-Editor of “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, in D.C. & NY
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug! on View Through August 2
Photos: Rick Shiomi Checks out Performing Arts Playwrights Series in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection of Library of Congress; Attends “Asian American Plays for a New Generation” Book Signing in NY on 7/29 Chinglish in Rehearsal New Anthology of Asian American Plays Book Talk
Andy Warhol, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Lia Chang in Art & Healing Exhibit at Snug Harbor on SI
My Empire State Building at Dusk on view in HHC’s “Art and Healing-Healthy for the Holidays” Art Exhibit
Photos by Lia Chang at the Shanghai World Expo 2010’s USA Pavilion, Library of Congress and Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection in L.A.
Lia Chang’s Botanical Beauties Portrait Commission at School of Nursing at Kings County Hospital Center
Photo Call: Derek Walcott’s Marie Laveau
My Botanical Beauties for the LIU/King’s County Hospital Center Nursing School
RED opening reception at Gouverneur Healthcare Services
AAJA member Lia Chang’s RED photographic exhibit part of Chinese New Year celebration

Published: In New York, Everywhere a Writing Nook Greek Debt Vastly Overstated, Investor Tells the World Local Locals: David Scroogewala, a Deli Worker, Looks for Love in New Land Knock Me A Kiss
Ask About the Gentrification of China Archbishop Supreme Tartuffe A Guide to Holiday Window Displays Shanghai Moon Powerplay
Modeling in Designer Yeohlee’s Fashion Show in 2005 Special Events to Mark 9-11
Port of Entry:The Angel island Immigration Station
John Willis’ theatre world, vol 53-ChicagoJohn A. Willis – 1999
Theatre World, 1997-1998 – Page 110- King of RatsJohn Willis – 2001 – 288 pages
Theatre World 1996-1997 – Page 107- ChicagoJohn Willis, Tom Lynch – 2000 – 288 pages
Theatre world, Vol. 50John Willis – 1996 review/theater: Gulliver review/theater: A Politically Correct Two Gentlemen
The Applause/best plays theater yearbook of …: , featuring the ten best plays of the season, 1990, p. 400- Famine Plays review/theater: Dark Visions of America in a Modern Depression
Awards Exhibitions and Published Work
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

7 comments on “About Lia

  1. Darren Lee
    October 18, 2008


    What a beautiful and informative site. Thank you for your dedication to the exposure of this material. I’m very proud.


  2. Cello
    May 4, 2009

    I agree, I am glad I stubmled upon your blog. I try to add a little something to the asian art world with my asian cinema blog. Hopefully over time it will gain some momentum and bring asian filmmaking to a broader audience. Have a wonder day Lia!

  3. Michaell
    June 2, 2009

    Lia: Great website, you’ve certainly accomplished a great deal so far. Keep up the good work.


  4. Brian Bull
    August 24, 2009

    Lia, what amazing work! It’s an understatement to say you’re multi-talented. Thank you very much for sharing the link to the AAJA awards show presentation. Is it possible to get the two shots with me emailed to my account at WPR? #13 and #14, I think….one’s a group shot and one’s with me and Vino Wong standing together.


    Brian Bull, Wisconsin Public Radio

  5. Ken Choy
    September 9, 2009

    Great job, Lia. Come to BREAKING THE BOW: The 1st Annual Independent Asian Pacific Islander Performing Artists and Writers Festival if you’re in LA October 22-25.

  6. Jim Moore
    June 14, 2010

    You are one busy women. Great site and really fun to look at all you have done.
    Jim Moore

  7. Sarah
    November 16, 2013

    Dear Ms. Chang,
    I am a 10th grade international student in Shanghai China, but originally from America. I am so impressed by your work, you are extremely talented. I am especially interested in your Article about your grandmother’s experience while passing through Angel island in 1937. My partner and I are working on a documentary film about Angel island from 1910 to 1940 for the National History Day competition where we competed at nationals last year in Washington D.C. If it would be possible to conduct an interview with you or a family member about your grandmother Lee Bak Huen’s experience that would be very much appreciated. We know how busy you are and thank you for your time. If possible please contact me at my email and we can arrange a time.
    Thank you!

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