Chiang studied film at UCLA and industrial design at the College for Creative Studies. During the late 1980s he worked at various production studios including Rhythm and Hues. Chiang eventually joined Industrial Light and Magic as a creative director where he worked on films such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Forrest Gump. During the late 1990s Chiang served as design director for LucasFilm on Star Wars Episode I and Star Wars Episode II. Afterwards, he was a production designer on Robert Zemeckis' The Polar Express. Outside of film, he collaborated with author Orson Scott Card on an illustrated science fiction book called Robota.
In 2004, Chiang co-founded Ice Blink Studios and worked for Zemeckis on Beowulf. Ice Blink closed in 2007.