Born in China and based in the UK, Chrystal is a research-led artist who works with photography, writing, personal archives, and machine learning to explore the impact of past (trauma) and future (technological advancement) on identity.
Chrystal read English at the University of Cambridge, and holds an MA in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography from London College of Communication (part of University of the Arts London).
Her work focuses on the intersections of science, culture, and the individual, and has been published by the BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, the Royal Photographic Society Contemporary Photography Journal, Selwyn Magazine, and Neehao Magazine. She was one of 209 female photographers selected to contribute a portrait to the ‘209 Women’ project in 2018, commemorating 100 years since women got the vote. In 2019 she was awarded the Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award for her work Yours is Going to Be Healed As Well about genocide survivors in Rwanda taking part in group counselling.
From 2017-2019 she worked with the Wellcome Genome Campus to produce Genetopia, a self-published book about 23 people who had done DNA tests and an exploration into what genetic testing means for the individual. In 2018 she co-founded Ixy Labs, a pop-science research and discussion series about private life in the time of AI.
Her current work uses machine learning as a tool for self-expression, and she is interested in issues of embodiment in the machine age.
2019-20 Wellcome Genome Campus, “Empowering People: Genetic Counselling in Focus”, Cambridgeshire, UK.
2019 Open Eye Gallery, “209 Women”, Liverpool, UK.
2018-19 UK Parliament, “209 Women”, London, UK.
2018 London College of Communication, “Dyadic”, London, UK.
2017 Tate Modern, “Offprint London”, London, UK.
2012 Cambridge Union, “Cambridge Faces”, Cambridge, UK.
Publications & media:
“Inside.” PHmuseum 2nd Photobook on Mobile Photography. Print. Feb 2021.
“Rwandan genocide: Treating the trauma 26 years on.” BBC online. April 2020.
“209 Women.” Print. Autumn 2019.
“Genetopia”. Selwyn Magazine Issue 26. Print. Summer 2019.
“Shandong Fish Life”. Royal Photographic Society Contemporary Photography Journal. Print. Autumn 2017.
“London Chinatown in Pictures.” Neehao Magazine online. February 2016.
Selected images. The Mays XX. Print. 2012.
Honours & awards:
Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award (Winner). Rebecca Vassie Trust, London, UK. 2019.
Shortlisted. ESPY Photo Award Book Prize, Swansea, UK. 2017.
Shortlisted. IdeasTap 16-25 Photographic Award with Magnum Photos, London, UK. 2013.