Interview with Jialin Yan

Jialin Yan (b.1992) currently lives and works in Fuzhou,China. In her work, she examine the confusion that comes from lost memories and emotions, so she tries to explore the process of their loss and abandonment through photography.

She is a Photographer, curator, magazine arcticle contributor, and Co-founder of Chinese female photography promotion platform “Miroir Project”.

© Jialin Yan

How did you become interested in photography? How did you start?

My interest in photography began when I looked through a magazine in junior high school and saw the works taken by a photographer named “№223”. However, I did not immediately commit myself to photography after that, because Chinese students are under great pressure to enter higher schools, so I have been busy with the entrance examination. It wasn’t until after college, when I bought my first film camera, that I started taking pictures. After that, I didn’t take photography as a serious thing, just an interest. In October 2018, I went to Hong Kong to visit my friend who was engaged in photography. Inspired by him, I began to take photography more seriously and treat it as a serious matter. It was about that time that I began to have the consciousness of creation and started photography.

Could you tell more about your creating process? Do you shoot on analog or digital format? Color or bnw? Why?

My creative process, at first, is scattered when I go out with 35mm film, and regularly regularize my work, forming a narrative project. After 2021, I began to plan and shoot photography projects in a project-based way, and also began to try to shoot with digital cameras.Most of my work is on color film or digital, because I want to bring the viewer into the present moment of my creation, rather than recalling or imagining feelings that are not present.

© Jialin Yan

Do you want to share something about the submitted body of work?

The project I submitted is my latest creative project titled “Fissure of Sweetdream”. I resigned at the beginning of 2022 and left the original industry, accompanied by my confusion about the uncertainty of life and the future. I also try to explore my own confusion, or other young people who are as confused as I am, through photography.

How do you get inspiration? Do you have any artists or photographers that inspired you?

At the beginning, I liked Nan Goldin’s style of photography, which revealed her life, circle and mental state from the first perspective. This is very similar to the way I started shooting, and I didn’t realize I was influenced by her. Later, as I watched more artists, I came to like Alec Soth’s more sober style of photography. In recent years, HOWEVER, I have tended to study Gregory Halpern’s style of photography. Of course, there are many, many photographers that I like very much, and I think they are my teachers on the way to studying photography.

© Jialin Yan

What are you working right now? Where are you going with your work?

Since quitting my previous job in the beginning of 2022, I have been working full-time as a photographer, sometimes as a commercial photographer and also as a curator. I also write for magazines.

Find out more about the work of Jialin Yan, on her webiste and on Instagram (@keykeyyan)

© Jialin Yan

All photographs and text on are © copyrighted by the individual Photographer and enigmazine.

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