Luo Yang's year in photos
Photographing stories of love and loss, friends and family... this is Luo Yang's 2019 in photos.
Photo by Luo Yang
We asked a handful of our favourite photographers to look back at 2019 and remember it through the photographs they took. From i-D contributions to personal pictures of friends, family and strangers on the street, this is Luo Yang: My Year in Photos.
Chinese photographer Luo Yang has become internationally renowned for her work documenting modern womanhood in China. Living and working between Beijing and Shanghai, her ongoing series, Girls, takes in a spectrum of different subjects, all of different ages and identities. “My first subjects are born in the 80s, then the 90s, then even the 00s,” Luo explained to us at the end of last year. “Each image is important. As each of them represents very different time, age, place, and people,” Luo says via a translator. “All of them together represent the general state of Chinese women.” Her work has been exhibited across the world and published in numerous books.
This was taken with Kaye in the summer of HK. We were on a little boat taking us to Jumbo Restaurant, an interesting place where you can see both the modernity and the tradition of HK. It feels a bit surreal. Kaye just lay there in the boat, looking like a mermaid.
Two teenagers having fun in the summer on the big balcony at their house. Downstairs there were traffic and crowds, but it felt happy like summer in the 90s.
3. Shan Yijiao
Shanghai. They just fell in love, madly in love. Both of them are models, she told me her happiest moments are working with him. The entire time I saw love bubbles. A very sweet shoot.
He was quiet and sensitive. Spring just arrived, the flowers in the neighbourhood were blooming. We did the shoot while talking at his place. His quietness slowed time down.
Yaya is a girl of colours! She's such a happy and brave young girl, wearing different colour hair and lipstick each time I see her.
6. Pakting and Jing
I was introduced to Pakting through a friend and we immediately became very close. He picked me up at the subway station and very identifiable in the crowd with his 190cm height. He lived in an industrial building in HK, with iron sliding doors from the 90s. We danced to the music during the shoot. He told me about his father and the stories of his family, his yearning for freedom and the struggle and pain he felt as a teenager, when he fled and never came back. He’s been living on his own for ten years. Jing is his friend, a lead singer in a band. She’s one of those rare, cool kinds of HK girls. We also spent a lovely afternoon at her rehearsing room.
Lukaz is a model and a tattoo artist. I first pictured him as cold and hard to speak to, but he turned out to be surprisingly nice. We went to his small deserted garden that day and just relaxed, smoked, chatted, drew things, and petted his cats Luka and Luffy.
A rainy night in Taiwan, I watched these two good friends smoking on the balcony. It was also the first time I got to enter the lives of ordinary people in Taipei. She said she wanted a home of her own. He patted on her shoulder and said, this is your home. Sometimes ordinary moments like this touch you the most.
This scene looks like something that would appear in my own head. I’ve had an image like this stored in my memory forever, something from my own childhood experience with my sister. Some emotions never change. I looked at these two as if it was my own childhood. It was very beautiful.
He has the traditional Chinese male beauty in him, long narrow shaped eyes and long hair. During the shoot, he was very polite and elegant. He felt like someone pure and innocent, someone you need to treat gently.
11. Xu Yan
Xu Yan’s outstanding appearance first caught my attention via a pile of pictures taken by my friend. He’s doing his own magazine, covering art, fashion and subcultures. He's one of those young people who’s changing and constructing the new generation of culture today in Shanghai.
12. Huang Jiaqi
Years after the suicide of his partner, I spoke to Jiaqi and said, "Let’s take some pics." There were many times I wanted to talk to him but didn’t know where to start. It takes tremendous courage to face everything after the death of someone you loved so deeply. His therapist told him that he has a strong will to survive, which kept him alive in such a catastrophe. Looking at him and I thought, what’s more valuable than staying alive itself?