AS A PROM­I­NENT FE­MALE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER IN YOUR FIELD, HOW DO YOU EM­POWER OTHER WOMEN WITH YOUR WORK?

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Culture -

Em­pow­er­ment is ed­u­ca­tion and free­dom. Per­son­ally, be­ing a vis­i­ble woman in a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try shows both my fe­male sub­jects and au­di­ence that I am in con­trol of my own pos­si­bil­i­ties. My mes­sage is to sol­dier on, be un­afraid of pur­su­ing the same, and forge your own path. WHAT MAKES A PHO­TO­GRAPH ICONIC? Fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy is a ve­hi­cle to carry and con­vey beauty, to chron­i­cle the fash­ion of our era, and how peo­ple choose to ex­press them­selves. An iconic pho­to­graph comes with a com­pelling story: vis­ually, the im­age strikes you deep in your heart. When you en­counter it, you ex­pe­ri­ence strong emo­tions—joy, fear, won­der, and even pain. YOU USED TO REP­RE­SENT SIN­GA­PORE IN AIR RI­FLE SHOOT­ING COM­PE­TI­TIONS. HOW DOES THAT EX­PE­RI­ENCE AF­FECT WHAT YOU DO NOW AS A FASH­ION PHO­TOG­RA­PHER? There is a cer­tain rhythm in the way we breathe, with the ri­fle sights fol­low­ing the rock­ing mo­tion of our bod­ies while tak­ing aim. In the same way, this ap­plies to move­ments on set, from the mod­els’ poses to the mo­ments their lashes flut­ter, the flow of fab­rics to slight shifts of hair car­ried by the wind. There is a spe­cial in­stant where ev­ery­thing can be per­fect, and air ri­fle shoot­ing taught me how to find the rhythm to that per­fect mo­ment. AS SOME­ONE WHO WAS BORN IN CHINA AND GREW UP IN SIN­GA­PORE, HOW HAS YOUR UP­BRING­ING CON­TRIB­UTED TO WHO YOU ARE TO­DAY? As a kid, I was en­trenched in Chi­nese po­etry and art, and much of this has found its way into my work, re­gard­less of the sub­ject. Grow­ing up in Sin­ga­pore, my ear­li­est ex­po­sure to the arts was lo­cal Ja­panese anime and vis­ual rock mu­sic groups—I even played in a band! I paid trib­ute to these Ja­panese fan­tasy artists in ‘Mother­land Chron­i­cles’. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BIG­GEST CA­REER MO­MENTS? My first big cam­paign mo­ment was with Mercedes-Benz Tai­wan, and since then I have worked with Mont­blanc, Vogue Ja­pan, to name a few. TELL US ABOUT YOUR STYLE REF­ER­ENCES. I am heav­ily in­flu­enced by Pre-Raphaelite artists such as John Wil­liam Water­house, and Ja­panese fan­tasy il­lus­tra­tors such as Yoshi­taka Amano, Jun Suemi, and Fu­ji­wara Kaoru. HOW DOES BE­ING CRE­ATIVE HELP CON­VEY YOUR IN­DI­VID­U­AL­ITY? It may sound counter-in­tu­itive, but hard work has been the defin­ing fac­tor of my suc­cess. All of my cre­ations are based on some­thing. It is the hard work of in­gest­ing end­less amount of me­dia, in­spi­ra­tion, ex­pe­ri­ences, and then tak­ing that mix to cre­ate new, in­ter­est­ing works. Cre­ativ­ity will be lim­ited with­out a strong foun­da­tion or deep bank of knowl­edge. Don’t stop learn­ing! www.zhangjingna.com

BAZAAR Viet­nam Jan­uary 2017 cover fea­tur­ing Coco Rocha, photographed by Zhang Jingna

Win­ter’s Rose, 2013, from the ‘Mother­land Chron­i­cles’ se­ries, Zhang Jingna

Dive, 2013, from the ‘Mother­land Chron­i­cles’

se­ries, Zhang Jingna

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