Student Artists: Yoyo(Chengyue) Zhang

3 mins read

By Jenny Shen ’23

After the completion of TPACC in 2019, many talented student artists have been attracted to the FGS campus .Yoyo is  one of these students and . If you don’t know who she is, just look for an Asian girl with hair tied up in a bun, a huge smile on her face, and an enormous Canon camera in her hand. 

Now, let’s hear about Yoyo’s passion for photography and the stories behind her work, Along at Home, which recently won a Gold Key in the Scholastic Art & Writing Award:

Hello everyone! I’m Yoyo Zhang from the Frederick Gunn School and I’m a three-year Junior here. I have had a passion for photography for about ten years now and it’s going to be my passion for life.

Where did this interest come from?

I started to take pictures the first time I got a phone. It’s just like an instinct, a desire to record my life. I want to not only see those beautiful things through my eyes but also preserve them permanently with my camera. So as soon as I had a phone, I started to record things.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

From my brain or the friends around me, because when you are embraced into the funny environments that your friends are creating for you, you will start to have many thoughts on what you want to record, to how to make the photos more interesting, more appealing.

Would you like to explain the inspiration and stories behind Along at Home?

For this one, the occasion of taking it was pretty sudden. Jenny and I were hanging out in New York City and then when I was looking out the window that night, I found her reflection in the window. It looked really pretty and I really liked the melancholic atmosphere created by the reflection. As a result, I asked her to pose for me so I could take pictures. This is how the photo was created. When I was editing this photo later, I added elements of a home fire, expressing a message of warning people not to leave others alone at home in case of accidents. Because my great-grandmother died from a home fire.

What’s your favorite art movement or artist?

My favorite art movement is the Pop Art movement… My favorite artist is William Eggleston because he is the father of color photography and a key figure in that [the Pop Art] movement. To me, he is the person that makes people realize the beauty of color photography and transition from black-and-white to colored ones. I was fascinated by his photos since 2016. I really like how he’s not limited by the composition of the photos. He never follows the horizontal lines of the land and he would take lots of weird pictures from weird angles. But what he pursues is the beauty of color, and that’s the thing I like to focus on a lot in my photos as well.

What’s one piece of artwork that you are currently working on?

I’m in the AP Studio Art class right now so I’m working on photos based on my portfolio theme of environmental awareness. The one I edited last is about warning: we are polluting the ocean, the forest, and the mountain, destroying the habitats of millions of animals. As a result, nature is giving us warnings.

In the future do you hope to pursue a career as a photographer or is it just a hobby? What do you hope to achieve next in this field?

This might only be my hobby but I want to learn more skills. I want to be a professional photographer. If possible, I might want to take a major in photography in college but I don’t think it will be my job. Because in my opinion, if you do a job that was your interest, it’s no longer going to be interesting because you are going to start feeling tired of it. Moving on, I want to touch more cameras, because so far I’ve only used Canon, Sony, and other basic ones. I also want to try other ones such as the Leica camera, which can be really interesting.

Thank you for your attention and please look forward to more articles about all the gifted student artists on campus!

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