Sim Chi Yin
Sim Chi Yin
Sim Chi Yin is a freelance photographer based in Beijing, China, focusing on editorial and documentary work. She is a member of the VII Photo Agency Mentor Program.
Chi Yin has photographed for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, New York Review of Books, Channel 4 UK, Conde Nast and the United Nations’ International Labour Organisation (ILO).
She was nominated for the Santa Fe Prize in October 2011. In 2010, she won a Magnum Foundation scholarship for a summer programme in documentary photography at New York University, and did stints at Magnum Photos New York and the International Center of Photography. She was a finalist for The Sunday Times’ Ian Parry Award in 1999; her portfolio of pictures from rural Siberia was exhibited in the award show at the Tom Blau Gallery in London.
Chi Yin was a journalist and foreign correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore’s national English-language daily, for nine years before leaving to return to photography at the end of 2010.
Her pictures and stories of Indonesian women migrant workers’ trials and triumphs won prizes from the Society of Publishers of Asia (Sopa) and Ifra, an affiliate of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, in 2008.
That work was being published as a book, The Long Road Home, by the ILO in September 2011.
In her personal capacity, she has done photo projects and exhibitions for grassroots NGOs in Russia, the UK, Romania and Vietnam. Previously based in Singapore, she worked on civil society campaigns there advocating rights for migrant workers through photography collaborating in such work as the Day Off and InsideOut projects.
Chi Yin graduated with history and international relations degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2000 and 2001, focusing on Mao’s China, the Sino-Soviet alliance and the Third World in the Cold War. She did summer school at Peking University in 2007.
She sometimes dreams in mute black-and-white mode, but in real life is fascinated by colour and light, and is at home in both English and Mandarin Chinese. She continues to work at telling ordinary people’s stories.