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Wenjie Yang March 3, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Joann, Brooklyn, NY, 2010

Wenjie Yang (b. 1978, China) is a freelance photographer currently based in New York City. She graduated from the International Center of Photography’s Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program  in 2010. Wenjie earned a BFA from the Beijing Film Academy and comes to photography with a background in advertising production and production of movie crews. Her work have been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Marie Claire, Elle Décor, Oggi, Burn Magazine, Lens, and Voyage. Past exhibitions include: Low City at 456 Gallery, New York (2010), Of Bodies And Other Things at ICP, New York (2010), Xiaobing Xu National Photography Museum, Tongxiang, China (2010).

About the Photograph:

“Joann is from an immigrant Korean family. At the age of 26, she is already working as a curator and director of a gallery specializing in Asian arts located at in the Chelsea art district in New York. When I saw her for the first time she was taking a cigarette break outside her gallery, waist-touching long straight hair, looking seductive and free. She gladly accepted my invitation for a portrait session after a brief conversation. I went to her apartment in Brooklyn and I was warmly welcomed by her. One of Joann’s first questions was ‘what do you want me to do?’ My answer was simply just be yourself, as if I am not here.”

“The photo is from my ongoing personal project “A Room of Her Own.” The inspiration was from the Virginia Woolf  book, “A Room Of One’s Own.” In Woolf’s book she states that “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” This book was written in a time when a woman’s life was totally connected to the life of the man she was with. The kind of life a woman had depended on what kind of life was given to her by her husband/father. This project is meant to show the complexity of an independent woman’s life: her moments of reflections,  her moments of joy, her moments of sadness, her moments of contentment, her moments of anger, her moments of liberation in her own space, etc.  Having your own ‘room’ is like having your own universe, where everything in this space is under your power. For a women, this can be a very empowering experience. This project is meant to capture the different depths of such a life.”