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Sim Chi Yin

Submitted by on January 4, 2011 – 1:29 pm

Sim Chi Yin is a photographer based in Beijing, China.  She was one of two photographers to be awarded a Magnum Foundation scholarship for a summer programme in “Photography and Human Rights” at New York University in 2010, and did stints at Magnum Photos New York and the International Center of Photography.

She was a finalist for the 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.

She was a text journalist and foreign correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore’s national English-language daily and a leading newspaper in Southeast Asia, for nine years -- straddling words and pictures -- before leaving to return to photography in late 2010.

Third-generation overseas Chinese, Chi Yin grew up in multi-cultural Singapore. She graduated with history and international relations degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science where she spent many nights studying Mao’s policies.

She is currently working on projects in China, where she’s been based since 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.

This set of images of North Korea were made on two trips Chi Yin made to the "hermit kingdom"in May 2008 and October 2010. Both trips were made as a newspaper journalist on reporting assignments, . Like all other foreign journalists and visitors who parachute in for a few days, all she  could get was a vignette of the reclusive state. While the Pyongyang she saw was not quite the Truman Show version that some other journalists had written about, it was quite a world apart from the rest of the country that she caught glimpses of. The curtains remain largely drawn..

TribalTruth is pleased to be presenting Sim Chi Yin's images of North Korea.

To see more of Sim Chi Yin's work visit her website here

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