Yan Cong

6x6 Asia Talent: Yan Cong, China

“Yan Cong has a commitment to tell stories in her own country. She does it with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, mostly over long periods of time. Her work is driven by her humanistic view. Over the years I have known her, her work has become more personal stylistically, and her own unique vision emerged. Her work is honest and empathic.” - Ruth Eichorn, Germany, Photo Editor, Curator and 6x6 nominator

Yan Cong is a visual storyteller based in Beijing, China. She splits her time working on long-term documentary projects and editorial assignments for international publications. She focuses her personal projects on topics such as women’s issues, social justice and China's relations with its neighboring countries, and seeks to create impact with her work through collaborations and non-conventional ways of distribution. Yan Cong writes a photo column ‘Depth of Field’ to amplify local Chinese photographers' voices, and to foster a better understanding of China.

Chongli 2022

Chongli 2022 is an ongoing project about the transition of Chongli after it was announced as host to most of the skiing events for the 2022 Winter Olympics. A small skiing town with a population of 120,000, 300 kilometres from Beijing, Chongli now has seven ski resorts, and aspires to become “Davos of the East.” This project not only looks at how the Winter Olympics displaces local villagers, but also investigates how politicians and real estate developers use the name of the Olympics to promote skiing, a middle-class sport imported from ‘the west’, to push tourism and urbanization. This project questions the model of China's rapid urbanization and development that Chongli epitomizes.

The People Who Make A.I. Smart

China is developing Artificial Intelligence technology faster than any country in the world. To help machines to make sense of the world, cheap labour is hired to label almost everything, from pens to traffic lights, from walking pedestrians to spare parts, on assembly lines. The workers call themselves the “construction workers in the digital world,” according to a New York Times article. This project is a diptych of data labeling workers and the screen on which they label almost everything to help A.I. learn. It aims to present the contrast of human and machine, and to pose the question: are we forced to become more like machines in this increasingly automated world?

Discover work by the 6x6 Asia talents, and find out about 6x6’s nomination and selection process.