Hitting the motherlode
Two very different creative types join forces on a unique new artbook
Motherland Chronicles is a collaborative artbook by New York-based photographer Zhang Jingna and artist Tobias Kwan.
The project was conceived as a platform for Jingna, who began working professionally for Harper’s Bazaar when she was just aged 20, to revisit the things she loved as a child – specifically fantasy art, anime and manga.
For the project she’s teamed up with Tobias, a concept artist working at Californian video game developer Ready at Dawn, because, she says, “having a partner is infinitely more fun and exciting than doing a project alone”.
The result is a collection of mesmerising otherworldly images, which have so far been featured in My Modern Metropolis, the British Journal of Photography and Vogue. “Jingna focuses on portraits,” Tobias says. “So I wait for previews from her shoot before starting on a piece to match her characters and provide more context within the environments.” The ambitious collaboration sees the pair create new artwork every week, leading to the release of a book in summer 2014.
Motherland Chronicles includes a stellar line up of guest artists, such as Naomi Chen, cellar-fcp and Noah KH. Find out more at
Created by artist Tobias Kwan, Bunny Yaga is the 18th piece in the Motherland Chronicles series. In the Secret Garden sees photographer Zhang Jingna revisit her childhood inspirations. “The process of world and character-building and research makes this project collaborative,” says Zhang. The Chronicles creates and publishes a new piece weekly, the 38th release being Tobias’s Rider. “Critiques of your work from someone working in a different medium are really cool,” Tobias says. “It gives you a fresh perspective.”