Biography: Sim Chi Yin

Sim Chi Yin is a documentary photographer based in Beijing. She is one of 20 photographers around the world represented by the New York-based VII Photo Agency.

She has a particular interest in migration and works on social issues in the region. She has won grants for her projects from the Asia Society (New York), Open Society Foundations and the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. In 2010, she was awarded a Magnum Foundation Photography and Human Rights fellowship at New York University.

In 2013, Chi Yin was named one of Photo District News’ top 30 emerging photographers, and she was a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for her personal project on Chinese gold miners. In 2014, she was included in the British Journal of Photography’s “Ones to Watch” list of photographers.

She has created photo, multimedia and short film projects commissioned by international clients such as TIME, the New York Times, the New Yorker, National Geographic, Le Monde, Newsweek, Vogue (USA), GQ (France), Financial Times Magazine, New York Times Magazine and Stern. Her work has also been exhibited and collected by photo festivals, art galleries, auction houses and foundations in Paris, Arles, Oslo, Hannover, New York and China.

A fourth-generation overseas Chinese, Chi Yin was born and grew up in Singapore. She did history and international relations degrees at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before becoming a full-time photographer, she was a journalist and foreign correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore’s national English language daily, for nine years.

Chi Yin sometimes dreams in mute, black-and-white mode, but in real life she is fascinated by colour and light, and is at home in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

She has been living and working in China since 2007.

The portrait of Sim Chi Yin was drawn by Flee Circus.

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