Gia Chkhatashvili: Visions of Caucasus Georgia
Native to Georgia, Gia Chkhatarashvili is a self-taught photographer who was born in 1959. A graduate of Tbilisi State University with a degree in philosophy, he discovered photography as a young man. His freelance career began in 1990 and he is a member of the Photographer’s Union of Georgia. Over the past ten years, he has worked on photo assignments for the World Food Program, the Norwegian Refugee Council, The Georgian Times, and German magazine “Vostok.” Gia won first prize in 2004 from the prestigious Fifty Crows International Foundation for Documentary Photography (San Francisco), first prize in the International Photo Contest in Saarbrucken, Germany (2001), and first prize in the Georgian Red Cross Association Photo Competition (1999). He has exhibited in the United States, Germany, Poland, and Norway.
Georgia is one of the world’s unique cultures, and I feel blessed to be one of its children. Having grown up in a rural environment myself, I have always felt a close connection to the bounty of nature in Georgia. When I began working as a photographer, I knew that one of my goals was to document traditional life in Georgia. I love traveling to villages where folk traditions remain a vital part of everyday life. While I am not against the development of tourism in Georgia, I am concerned that commercial development might minimize or even wipe out some aspects of Georgia’s unique traditions. It is especially for this reason that I intend to continue traveling around my country, capturing its beautiful people as they pass traditions down from generation to generation.