Julia LaChica’s work includes mixed media assemblages, object making, printmaking and painting. The daughter of an aging Filipino merchant marine from Aklan province and his young and beautiful Japanese wife from Kyushu, Julia LaChica was born in 1963 and grew up in a housing project in Chinatown surrounded by multiple languages she did not speak. This “very San Francisco” experience of merging histories, conjoined landscapes, and attraction to the strangeness of words continues to inform her sense of aesthetics and belonging, particularly in her mixed-media shadow boxes. After several years working as an independent artist, in 2001 she completed her BFA from the California College of the Arts in Industrial Design. Her painting is deeply informed by her training as a designer and often includes formal elements such as pattern and motif, but her pieces also seek to interrupt expected forms and emotional responses by interjecting unusual elements or visual surprises. Julia LaChica has exhibited at various locations in and around San Francisco, including Galería de a Raza, the Sargent Johnson Gallery, San Francisco State University, California College of the Arts, and Artist Television Access. She now lives in Oakland.
As an artist my primary creative practice is to arrange and rearrange, construct and deconstruct, images and objects that intrigue me. Shadow boxes were the first medium I began to explore seriously as an artist. Their intimate nature as small spiritual assemblages seemed well suited to my humble offerings. In my paintings, this fascination with the mechanics of construction and design continues to inform my work. A consistent feature of my craft is the layering of different histories and cultures. I consciously work to create a sense of the past by integrating found objects, distressing elements, and aging materials in order to reveal how corrosion, rust and wear accumulate on bodies and surfaces.