VII is excited to announce that Sim Chi Yin, formerly of the VII Mentor Program, has been selected to join the agency as a member photographer. Her membership goes into effect this month.

“It’s a great honor to be offered a spot in a collective with some of the leading documentary photographers in the field today,” said Chi Yin in response to the news. “I value the opportunity to work with VII, as they adapt and innovate in an agency world and industry that’s currently in a turbulent state. I want to use this opportunity to learn how a cooperative works and instead of wondering and watching from afar, get involved in trying to find ways to move forward.”

Marcus Bleasdale, who served as Chi Yin’s mentor, says, “VII is thrilled to announce the addition of Sim Chi Yin to its membership. Chi Yin has developed incredibly in the VII mentor program and during her time has authored several powerful bodies of work from Asia. Her journalistic ethic and her role as a socially-concerned photographer is core to the values VII holds dear and we believe she will be a powerful and important voice in our community for years to come.”


A fourth-generation overseas Chinese, Chi Yin, who is now based in Beijing, has gained considerable recognition for tackling challenging socio-economic stories on migrant labour, occupational health, income inequality and urbanization — issues that are taking place in China but have consequences that play out on a global scale.

In addition to pursuing personal projects on social issues in the region, Chi Yin shoots regularly for the New York Times and has completed assignments for The New Yorker, TIME, New York Times Magazine, Le Monde, GQ, ESPN Magazine, Financial Times Magazine and Stern, among others.

“I’ve been thrown into the assignment world rather quickly,” says Chi Yin, who became a freelance photographer in 2011. “And now, I would very much like to do more thoughtful, meaningful group projects on global issues, and work on more social/community engagement with photography-based work. VII is already well-known and respected for its ethos: socially-concerned photography, so that befits my personal direction.”

Ed Kashi, a member and owner of VII since 2010, said: “Sim Chi Yin is an extraordinary photojournalist, a storyteller of the first order and one of the hardest working people I know. We are thrilled to have her join VII Photo and move with us into the new directions our agency is exploring to reach new audiences, produce meaningful projects and continue our tradition of in-depth, meaningful visual storytelling.”


Chi Yin added, “I look forward  to collaborating on group projects, and helping bring them to life. I plan to help build more of a profile for VII in Asia and China in particular. I want to introduce partnerships and ideas from this part of the world to a still Western-centered photography industry. I believe we can use visual storytelling and photography, both universal languages, to enhance our bonds and build greater understanding.”

Sim Chi Yin, who studied history and international relations at the London School of Economics, began her career as an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent for The Straits Times, Singapore’s national English daily, where she worked for nine years before turning to photography.

In 2010, she was awarded a Magnum Foundation fellowship for a summer programme in “Photography and Human Rights” at New York University. Chi Yin was a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography in 2013, with a personal project on terminally-ill Chinese gold miners.

Chi Yin was on the British Journal of Photography’s “Ones to Watch” list of photographers in 2014. She was also named one of the 30 top emerging photographers by Photo District News in 2013.

For press inquiries regarding this announcement please contact Ed Kashi.

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Link to full press release »