Yan Wang Preston


  • Oeuvre - Yan Wang Preston
    Forest - 2017 - Forest series, Egongyan Park, Chongqing, China, 2010-2017, photographic series

Dr. Yan Wang Preston is a Chinese-British visual artist interested in landscape, identity, migration and the environment. With photography as her primary medium, her solo, collaborative and participatory projects use still and moving images, sound, performance, installation and the artist’s book to explore complex ideas from multiple angles. Wang Preston’s practice is characterized by rigorous research processes carried out within physically, intellectually and emotionally demanding projects. For her first major project, Mother River (2010-2014), she photographed the entire 6,211 km Yangtze River in China at precise 100 km intervals with a large-format camera. This monumental undertaking enabled her to offer a vernacular, multi-layered vision of contemporary China while subverting existing hierarchies in photographic representation of the Yangtze River since 1842.

Forest, 2010-2017

In the photographic project Forest, Yan Wang Preston spent eight years (2010-2017) investigating the politics of recreating forests and the “natural” environment in China’s new cities. In Chongqing, a city of 30 million, she followed the evolution of ancient trees transplanted into a new urban environment, the concrete city and its inhabitants, documenting changes, dramas and lives. Along the way, a series of images and stories are collected and told, raising questions about the complexity of urban reforestation and the reconstruction of nature in contemporary times. Forest won first prize, Syngenta Photography Award in 2017 and first prize, Professional Landscape category of the Sony World Photography Awards in 2019. It was published as a monograph by Hatje Cantz in 2018.