Yangkun Shi was born in Zhoukou, Henan province, China. He studied journalism at Anqing Normal University from 2011 to 2015. He then moved to London where he received an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.
In 2017, he won the PDN Emerging Photographer competition, and won in the Fine Art Category of the PDNedu Student Photo Contest. In 2016, he won first prize in the UrbanPhotoFestOpen.
He has exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the UK: from the Reclaim Photography Festival, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, to UrbanPhotoFest, Tate Modern, London. He has been featured in the South China Morning Post ("Photographer misses his home – especially when he’s there") and in TIME ("Nine Chinese Photographers You Need to Follow"), and many more publications.
About the 'Solastalgia' series:
"As opposed to nostalgia (the sentimental distress experienced by individuals when separated from home) solastalgia is a form of melancholy evoked by changes that have happened in the used-to-be familiar home context, referring to a special homesickness sensed by people when they are still within the home environment.
Personally, nostalgia was experienced when I was away from my hometown while solastalgia struck me when I returned home as soon as I realised the relationship between my past memories and current realties had fractured. I set out to explore areas around my hometown of Shangshui as well as other small counties trying to capture my uncertainties during the transformation. This is a project of exploring memories and seeking identities in the context of tremendous change in China."