The names have been announced as part of the BFC’s latest initiative to spotlight the next generation of international creatives
Ahead of the much-awaited annual Fashion Awards in partnership with Swarovski taking place on December 10, the British Fashion Council has announced the addition of a new category to the event, New Wave: Creatives – an initiative that aims to celebrate next generation creative talents across the world.
While the full list (including set designers, image makers, stylists, models, hair and make-up artists and digital influencers) will be unveiled on the night, the BFC is hosting preliminary events in London, New York and Shanghai to announce some of the names in the lead up to the event. China was chosen as the first country to spotlight its young creatives, with the BFC’s Caroline Rush revealing the 20 Chinese fashion trailblazers that made it to the list in Shanghai last night.
Among the newly-announced next gen talents are Wang Ziqian, Zeng Wu, Leslie Zhang Jia Cheng, Luo Yang and Jin Jia Ji – five fashion photographers that are subverting societal norms and structures, challenging stereotypes, and celebrating their country’s rich heritage. Get to know them below.
Shanghai-based photographer Leslie Zhang got his start in image making years ago, after learning Chinese traditional painting at a very young age. Inspired by the country’s nostalgia, his work is known for its colours – that hint at Chinese longstanding traditions – and its atmospheric documentary portraiture. Zhang recently worked with Dazed’s creative director Robbie Spencer and London-based designer Simone Rocha on the latest issue of A Magazine Curated By.
Based between Beijing and Shanghai, photographer Wang Ziqian definitely makes the most out of both worlds. Her female-centred images, often in black and white, play with the concept of femininity and girlhood. After graduating in Fashion Photography from New York’s School of Visual Arts in 2016, Wang has already lent her cutting-edge photographic style to some of the most respected international publications, and she is now the New York photographer for Vogue China.
Zeng Wu made his photographic debut back in 2013. Since then, the Shanghai-based image-maker has become one of the most well known experimental Chinese contemporary photographers. Often featuring sharp portraits and raw shots, Wu’s work gives us a glimpse of Chinese youth subcultures, and makes us reflect on fashion’s artistic paradigm through his futuristic aesthetic and saturated hues.
Ever since launching her ongoing series GIRLS back in 2007, Luo Yang’s subjects have always been the women around her – “what we have in common”, she says, “are a fragility and braveness inside of us; we face the world with our sincerity”. Her honest shots aim to depict both the public and private spheres of womanhood, challenging the ideas of femininity and identity that make up for women’s stereotypical representation in modern-day China. Luo is definitely one to watch, even receiving Ai Weiwei’s stamp of approval in 2012, when he defined her as one of the “rising stars of Chinese photography”.
JIN JIA JI
Beijing-native Jin Jia Ji splits his time between his hometown and London. Looking up to German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, 28-year-old Jin has an introspective approach to fashion image making. Characterised by unexpressive faces, achromatic backdrops, and soft hues, his shots go beyond his models’ exterior, reaching a more intimate, private dimension. While Jin can already count on some of the biggest names of both international and Chinese publishing on his clients roster, he hopes to focus on more personal projects in the near future.