Chai Jinchen – Photography

I was born in a family surrounded by photography magazines, photographs, and all kinds of camera that belong to my father, a professional photographer.   Greatly influenced by W. Eugene Smith, Helmut Newton, and Richard Avedon, I learned how to print my own photographs in the dark room at a very early age.

When I was in elementary school, I started to use zoom in lenses and studied how to make my photographs more artistically.  To my understanding, I believe that art isn’t merely a knowledge that one acquires from studying hard.  As a matter of fact, it comes from your life that accumulating from all aspects through personal experiences.  For instance, aesthetic is the most crucial element among all. In order to master aesthetic in photography, I took film and media make-up and styling design courses in Beijing Film Academy after high school.  I also audited film photography and directing courses including script writing, lighting, art, and styling design.  I was completely drowned in this field.

After graduating from Beijing Film Academy, I became a make-up stylist for CCTV-3 for eight years.  I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing so I took on another challenge and became a magazine photographer by using one of my artistic photographs.  Working for magazines only allowed me to merge my style with the editor’s requirements.  Those photographs couldn’t reveal the true inner self.  Few years later, my passion for artistic photography emerged again and my work received recognition of China’s contemporary photography master, Li Xianting, who was in charge of the most promising young artist selection.  It turned my world upside down completely and I didn’t even know who Li was then until my first visit to his studio.  He acknowledged me that my work got the highest mark.  I feel honored by the result of the exhibition and I’ve found my value in artistic photography.  This has been the laurel of my life.

Since then, I devoted my life and time into this category and never turn back again.  I am touched by many of my works and they touch many viewers as well.  Now I’m convinced that I’m on the right path of my life.  I believe that as a human being, one must do at least one thing that touches oneself and others.