Instagram 2018 Best Nine

2018 felt very long and very short at the same time. It’s lovely to see a wrapup like this for Instagram, and think back on all the new experiences I’ve had and precious time people gave out of their days to look at these images ❤️

Thank you everyone for your support and kind words while I explored a darker personal series—Shedding—and went through some rough times.

I hope I can do better next year in every way; to learn to hate myself and my work a little less, and learn to understand myself a little better. 

From my Instagram (@zemotion):

1. @kom_i_jp for “Shedding” series in @dark_eros_proj 
2. Forbes 30 Under 30 self portrait 
3. @alodia for new Asian-themed @motherlandbooks series 
4. @clairejchsu for new series 
5. Alodia again <3 
6. @germainepersinger in @motherlandbooks 
7. @vampybitme my Gundam sis 
8. @hello_kijeong for @phuong_my
9. KOM_I again <3 ~

Also loved the fashion, beauty and directing work I managed to do this year for Vogue China, Vogue Japan, Harper’s Bazaar and everyone.

Thank you to all team and staff for your support in producing these lovely work together. ありがとうございました!万分感激! 🙏 Have a wonderful new year everyone~

Vogue Japan 2018 Hair Book Cover feat. Kiko Arai

Vogue Japan 2018 Hair Book Cover feat. Kiko Arai

Vogue Japan March 2018 beauty cover. Model: Rina Fukushi

Vogue Japan March 2018 beauty cover. Model: Rina Fukushi

Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam Nov 2018 cover. Model: Willow Hand

Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam Nov 2018 cover. Model: Willow Hand

Harper's-Bazaar-Vietnam-Nov-2018-Cover---Willow-Hand-by-Jingna-Zhang2.jpg

Vogue Japan fashion film feat. Chanel ambassador and Houston Ballet first soloist Nozomi Iijima. Directed by Jingna Zhang

Vogue Japan x Cle de Peau Beaute feat. Kozue Akimoto

Vogue Japan x Cle de Peau Beaute feat. Kozue Akimoto

Vogue-Japan-Mar-2018-223-162-Vogue-Japan-Mar-2018-223-161-Kozue-Akimoto2-web.jpg
Vogue Portugal July 2018. Model: Yumi Lambert

Vogue Portugal July 2018. Model: Yumi Lambert

Vogue-Portugal-Yumi-Lambert-Beauty---Jingna-Zhang1.jpg
Vogue-China-Jan-2019---Wangy-by-Jingna-Zhang4.jpg
Vogue China Jan 2019 issue. Model: Wangy.

Vogue China Jan 2019 issue. Model: Wangy.

2013 Wrap-up

A little belated but here is my 2013 wrap-up post!

It was an interesting year.

There wasn't anything earth-shattering in terms of academic or commercial success, but starting Motherland Chronicles and the journey it brought me on had definitely affected me in a big way. That, and moving to New York.

So usually, I do a retrospective of some sort here, but with the book for Motherland Chronicles still underway, I can't bring myself to write about the experiences in all that incompleteness. Instead, I'm going to do a recap on the other major events that happened besides Motherland Chronicles! And thank my teams and you guys profusely for being supportive and awesome.

Top 8 things that mattered:

1) Started reading because of subways and second-hand books. Discovered Lymond Chronicles and to my surprise, improved my English.

2) Exhibited in Milan with Photo Vogue photographers, curated by Vogue Italia. Found out my alcohol allergy had worsened by fainting at the opening. Glorious.

"A Glimpse at Photo Vogue" by Vogue Italia

3) In memory of a friend, I created the first piece of personal work for someone else for the first time. It's been ten years.

Motherland Chronicles #21 - Her Resting Place

4) Had many firsts for photography — cosplay, fire, underwater. It was all very new and exciting.

Reunited with Alodia to shoot my first cosplay picture: Motherland Chronicles #30 - Untitled Amano Girl
Motherland Chronicles #23 - Dive (behind the scenes)

5) Disbanded Infinity Seven, and wrote about my time in SC2. Read my superbly angsty blog post over on TeamLiquid.

Infinity Seven, Anaheim, 2013

6) Exhibited with Marc by Marc Jacobs and Vulture Magazine in Singapore. One of the most beautiful installations of my work, wish I could have been there.

7) Featured on Kotaku, a place I looked at often throughout the years, it meant a lot to me.

Kotaku: Where Fashion Meets Japanese Fantasy and StarCraft II

8) Finally saw Gundam Unicorn. I loved it so much that I rewatched the show four times. Gundam has always inspired feelings about humanity and strength in me. Things like: you have to find the strength within yourself. Believe! And even if it hurts, keep on saying even so, even so, and go on! So, yeah. Feelings.

Aside from the above, some other highlights include signing my first apartment lease, winning Beauty/Glamour Photographer of the Year at [FRAMED] Awards and meeting up with e-pals Kirsty Mitchell and Von Wong in Las Vegas.

I was fortunate to landed a number of covers, thanks to my great teams for their wonderful work and the editors for putting us up there, notably Elle Vietnam's June and September beauty issue, Factice Magazine #19, and British Journal of Photography's September issue.

Thank you Savage Universal for the sponsorship, who gave me a lot of options to play around with for my studio work. And Casin dei Nobili, Harlequin Romantique and Xiaolin for contributing some incredibly beautiful hand-crafted masks, jewelry, and clothing for Motherland Chronicles. 

And the wonderful guys at ArmStreet for hosting me at Pennsic War 42 in Pittsburgh, which was my first camping experience ever. I tried on some armour, wore a dress for 2 days (!!), braided my hair, took classes on 10-13th century Russian fashion, and watched a medieval battle. I've never experienced anything else like it. It was awesome.

Of course, I would also randomly discovered that I've had lifetime of anime/manga hair in the mean time.

In September I met up with Sugizo in LA! I can't wait for my new book to be ready so I can gift it in return when he gives me Luna Sea goodies.

At the end of the year I went to Cancun with mum, sis and relatives. It was the first time I'd been with my mum and sis together overseas, so it was very unexpected, new, and exciting.

And that's really it for the year! To wrap it up, here's an Instagram video recap. I want to say thank you all for the support, especially for Motherland Chronicles. I can't wait for the project to be ready for Kickstarter, and for you guys to finally have the book. Thank you so much for following my journey so far, I hope 2014 will be even more exciting and inspiring. ♥

Motherland Chronicles #21 - Her Resting Place

"Here is my love.
Here is the sound of my heart.
Surely you will understand."
- Heart of Thomas

Motherland Chronicles #21 - Her Resting Place

Photography: Zhang Jingna
Hair: Junya Nakashima
Makeup: Gregg Brockington
Model: Julia Gorbach
Photo Assistant: Ngoc Vu
Backdrop from Savage Paper

---

In memory of L. 

25.

This post is marginally bipolar, my emo and epic nerdy fangirling all rolled into one. You have been warned.

---

25.

Where do I even start? I am glad to be alive.

It takes a lot of courage to put certain thoughts and feelings into words, too easy to be hurt for who we are, our heart's fragility can only withstand so much when it comes to our weaknesses, I think.

And so, I hadn't known how to write this, and I still don't, not really. But last year—getting over depression—was surely the grandest achievement of me being 24 (and of course my doctor, who didn't even have to put me on antidepressants, thank you).

In many ways, I had been afraid to write about it because I didn't want to jinx my recovery, it wasn't often that I had something good like that. (Because you know, more than once, I'd thought that I was fine, just to find myself living in the very opposite of that the next months.)

It was a lot to take in, becoming… un-unhappy.

From my first memory of acute loneliness, to the first time I thought about death when I was four, a lifetime of problems to fix, all the normalcy I never knew and wondered about, that made me different, that nearly…

I hadn't known I suffered from traumatic stress, it went on for so long I'd accepted my feelings and nightmares as normalcy. So when I could see in my head, during my final session with my doctor, the foundation blocks of my life and thoughts reslotting and rearranging, completely changing, I couldn't understand how it was possible. It was overwhelming, awe-inspiring, terrifying.

It was as if I had become someone else, and held in my hands the memories of someone I might have been, trying to understand it, feeling like an outsider; as if I were separated from that person's past by a wall of glass, I could look but not reach, nor feel.

It left me lost, like I'd finally emerged from the shadows into the sun, yet all that lay around me was vast indistinct land and it didn't matter where I went. Until finally, and only because I was trying so hard to find something, anything at all, I felt the moment I left that dream place and came surface to air, and I realized with wonder, that I had healed.

If I could liken it to something, maybe, it's what a human being's metamorphosis is like.

----

That was the most important thing that happened to me at 24. But of course, my move to New York was a big deal too. And the recent news that I was selected by Vogue Italia to be part of Photo Vogue's exhibition in Milan this June makes me speechless. And I saw Gundam Unicorn!!! Finally! I haven't been able to lock away my closet nerdiness after that, because oh my god, sick cockpit design is sick. I've been daydreaming about how to spend my first billion dollars (simulation room in my house), I even re-watched the series to take screenshots just so I can write a blog post about it. NERDY.

I also just finished Lymond Chronicles' book 4, it was SO emotionally brutal I nearly had a heart attack. Phillipa, my sixteen year old heroine. SO BRAVE. HOW?! She journeyed alone to find her friend's baby son in a foreign land, surrounded by dangers and traps and possible assassinations all the bloody way, then gave up her life to the seraglio just so she could protect the child's safety after she had found him. So freaking badass and so much courage! Why aren't there more people reading this together with me so we can fangirl and fanboy together!?!!

Don't judge me on the fangirling. Because you know, the secret to great personal work is being a fangirl. Only when I feel passionate can I create works passionately! True story.

So 24 was an experience alright, here's hoping 25 will be even grander.

Thank you everyone for your encouragements and support and love, I hope I can continue to be a person you can be happy with and proud of. Happy birthday to me! :D

Jingna
May 4th, 2013

2012 Wrap-up

Yay I've finally got another year-end wrap-up!

Wow, I can't believe the last was 2009. Truthfully speaking, I wrote one for 2010, it was filled with awesomeness (including my lifetime's only fangirl moment when taken by surprise meeting Hagio Moto)—...actually, I just discovered that that post has been sitting in my drafts, with pictures and all, figured I might as well post it: 2010.

And here be the highlights of my 2012: 

January

- Shot for Clé de Peau Beauté's 30th Anniversary Celebration Exhibition
- Interviewed by National Archives of Singapore (I pray if anyone uses it for anything in the future I'd be forgiven for my atrocious Chinese)
- Zink editorial "It Blooms In The Night" published
- Wedding & Travel #22 out on stands! We shot the cover story in Fregate Island, Seychelles, I had my own villa with infinity pool and all that stuff! (This would've been in my 2011 post, but it doesn't exist so allow me to wax-lyrical a little)
- Featured on Expert Photography -- Top 20 Young Photographers 2012, though I definitely don't feel so young anymore

My photograph for Clé de Peau Beauté
Zink: It Blooms in the Night

Febuary

- Yoshitaka Amano-inspired self portraits
- Held my first workshop (sold out in 24 hours! :D)
- Fashion and beauty editorials in Elle Singapore! (Hit the Road, Touch-me Tresses)
- Elle Awards feature in Elle Singapore! (For winning Photographer of the Year in Nov 2011)

My Amano-esque self portrait series! I was so beatific when I saw those photos on my computer screen~
Demo during my first workshop!
A photo of the trophy plaque's prettier than an article right? Pretty ♥

March

- Editorial marathon in Vietnam with Phuong My -- we produced AND shot 6 stories in 7 days, including: 
- My first Harper's Bazaar cover shoot featuring Vietnamese actress Ngo Thanh Van and—
- A shoot in Cambodia! Visited Angkor Wat, it was awesome.
- Came across one of my photos of Rain for Anchor Beer in Cambodia on a billboard! Kickass feeling.
- Photos of Michelle Phan!

Michelle! Our shoot was done end Dec but then I never had my 2011 post so ._.
Angkor Wat! It was so grand.

April

- Represented in US by Kramer+Kramer in New York
- Saw L'arc~en~Ciel in Singapore, I even met my own fans (And now that I've seen Luna Sea, X Japan, Laruku, and Dir en grey, I think I'm just missing Gackt and my Live experience would be complete haha)
- Showed in Clé de Peau Beauté's "L'Art de La Radiance" Exhibition in Hong Kong

On the left is cover of the limited edition book commemorating Clé de Peau's exhibition. A very stunning volume I'm proud to be a part of.

May

- 10 years on deviantART! Check out my post on the journey.
- Featured in Her World Singapore -- "25 Scene Shakers Under 25"

Holy shit 10 years on dA. Where has my youth gone to?!

June

- Shot chef Janice Wong for DBS Bank in Singapore
- Visited deviantART HQ with my team Infinity Seven! Fun times.

The ads ran on all sorts of medias including TV! Was also cool to receive my bank letters with my work featured on its flyers.

July

- Filming for Asia's Next Top Model
- My first Harper's Bazaar cover published! For Harper's Bazaar Vietnam's 1st anniversary issue
- Featured in FHM Singapore -- "Girls on Games"
- Showed in Harper's Bazaar exhibition "Fashion in Focus" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Interviewed by Singaporean art blog The Art Train

My Harper's Bazaar Vietnam cover story!
Story cover
Issue cover
Harper's Bazaar exhibition "Fashion in Focus" in Kuala Lumpur

FHM Singapore

Interviewed by The Art Train

August

- SingaporeBrides editorial "Song to the Siren"
- Visited Stockholm, WCS Sweden
- One of my longest interviews, for Cadred.org -- "Zhang Jingna: Aesthetic Manifestation"

SingaporeBrides editorial, love how I always get to experiment and direct these shoots

September

- Busy putting my paperworks together for O-1 visa application~

October

- Started psychotherapy
- 7 Honorable Mentions in International Photography Awards for Fine Arts: Portraits, Fine Arts: Nudes, and Advertising: Fashion
- The beginning of a series of vacations starting with Lijiang and Shangri-la :D

Bluemoon Valley in Lijiang
Ahaha sheep in Shangri-la across from Banyan Tree. I chased them all away taking photos XDDD

November

- Got out of depression!
- Hokkaido (Hell Valley!) and Osaka for the first time
- Met up with Sugizo in Osaka!
- Judge on The Big Shot Season 3
- Still working on my visa

Hell Valley in Hokkaido, so badass!
Got to drop by Luna Sea's gig at Zepp in Osaka and hang out with Sugizo a little, new shoot hopefully in 2013!


December

- Fujiwara Kaoru-inspired shoot
- One of my favourite stories, for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, Nu Renaissance Aristocracy, published
- Visited Versailles, Louvre, Venice and Rome for the first time! More things off my bucket list yay
- O-1 visa for the US approved! Woot.
- Asia's Next Top Model episode aired! Winning shot will be used as ad for TRESemmé
- Moved to New York

Nu Renaissance Aristocracy for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, super love this story! Linh does hair magic.
Europe! I took so many photos yet in the end it was still easiest to just use those from my iPhone OTL
Aired Dec 30th, the beauty episode of Asia's Next Top Model where I was the photographer :D Photo of the week winner was Sofia Wakabayashi, my fav from the shoot ♥

And and! Last but not least, quick overview of my hair this year in chronological order:

Some of you might remember, my hair was this long before, it was quite a change for me.

I cut it off on new year's eve of 2012, a new start and all that, right? Then I got to play around with the colours all year. Awesome. And so many many thanks to Delos and Yvonne at Sabun Cabane for taking such good care of my hair! I'm gonna miss you ladies. ♥ 

I want to make another post with some inspirational reads from this year at a later time, I'll end this post here. Also feel free to check out my Inspirational Reads 2012 post here for what inspires me: http://www.zhangjingna.com/blog/2013/01/inspirational-reads-2012.html

In closing I'd like to once again thank everyone for cheering and supporting me this year and, I'm so grateful to still be here.

I'm super excited to start 2013, shoots and personal projects and all.

I wish everyone's new year will be something amazing, let's work hard for our dreams together.

Pink Hair

It was a semi-impulsive thing, but something I'd been meaning to do for a while now and just didn't really.

I was introduced to X Japan's music 10 years ago on this day. It wasn't much later that I found out that it's also hide's death day.

In a very round-about way, X was the reason I eventually ended up doing photography. So this is in his memory, RIP hide.

Eight Years.

For a while now the depression has been flowing to me like water from a broken dam, overwhelming and unstoppable.

But some time shortly after my birthday, perhaps because I had for so long been living in that lonely, bleak winter I had experienced in Toronto, or perhaps because time had finally decided that I ought to return to the waking world to move on and along, I started working proper again, after eight months of near-inactivity, of living in near-recluse.

May was filled with castings and pre-production meetings one day after another, in between I was tasked to make impossible deadlines possible, and at the same time stay on Pacific Time for my StarCraft II team, which has become increasingly important in my life — a source of laughter and happiness.

In the third week I shot for Elle, a few days later an editorial for SingaporeBrides. Before I knew it I was in Seoul for a project that stretched for two weeks into June. I returned home for a sleepless weekend, and left again the Thursday after for Seychelles to do another photoshoot.

The waiting hours during the trip has brought me some progress with The Glass Bead Game, I have now advanced past half the book, and found a quote I really love — "Every experience has its element of magic."

Even though Hesse's stories upset me a great deal more often than not, I cannot resist their charms that perhaps stem from the same yearnings as his protagonists. For needing to seek the answer to self, to wanting a way to solve the internal struggles, pains and conflicts.

Bit by bit, year by year, every now and then I would tell myself that, "This time for real I'd be moving on."

And then I'll have nightmares and they'll tear at my heart. I'll shed tears and hurt and think about this day and find myself at an utter loss once more.

But somehow the reading has calmed me, made me feel less alone. Even if the parallels and comfort are drawn from some fictitious characters, it feels like I'm finally able to take a step back and look at the larger map of my life again, with its paths and marks and light, and not just the seemingly endless abyss that I was for a long time so deeply submerged in.

There were no flowers when we visited today, it was still morning.

We had lunch after the visit and talked about old times.

Eight years. How has time slipped by us so fast?

My heart aches to remember those days that seem not so far away at all, to imagine what a fine man you'd have been amongst us today, to wonder what different lives we'd all be leading, just wishfully thinking...

But I understand now, to fulfill this life I cannot mourn forever. That I must find the strength to move on while remembering, without destroying myself.