By: Aaron Chang
Two years ago, I was commissioned by Sharp Chula Vista Hospital to create a body of work that captures the beauty of the South Bay in San Diego.
This project was close to my heart because I grew up around Imperial Beach. So much has changed since the South Bay of my youth, but one thing that remains constant has been my love for the ocean. I caught my first wave in IB and even shot my first photo there (of the pier.)
The objective of this collection was to create a body of art that heals. Back in the early 90’s, I broke my neck while surfing in IB. I was trying to boost my board on a wave and when I landed, there was no water. I’ll never forget the sound of my spine breaking as I hit the sandy bottom.
Luckily, I was surfing with a friend, who saw me struggling to get to my board. He helped me get to the Chula Vista hospital, where I was diagnosed with a broken C7 vertebrae. By the grace of God, my spinal cord remained in tact. Had I have had an ounce of more pressure when I hit the bottom, it may have severed, leaving me a paralyzed for life…
Helping people in times of crisis is important to me because I know the hopelessness and despair many patients are facing in hospitals on a day to day basis. Life can change in an instant…
It is my hope that the patients at Sharp are transported beyond their circumstances by the art that surrounds them. Also, that the beauty of this collection invigorates the staff, who work tirelessly to help others.
My message to patients and families in times of crisis: choose to embrace life! It’s short, fleeting and oh-so-beautiful. Whether it’s a wave racing to shore or wildflowers that bloom on the edge of a lake, the beauty you choose to embrace will become an essential part of your healing.
I’m proud to present this body of work and hope it brings inspiration to the patients, physicians, and staff at the Medical Center for many years to come. Please click the play button above to view the highlights of my new collection.
~ Aaron Chang