Photographer Zhong Lin’s 365-day Art Challenge

When the pandemic hit and everyday life came to a halt, self-taught Malaysian photographer Zhong Lin took on a personal project that has caught the attention of many. Titled “Project 365”, Lin has challenged herself to take a photograph every day for the past nine months and will continue until she reaches 365 days. Prior to the pandemic, Lin travelled for shoots with magazines and brand campaigns such as British Vogue and Vanity Fair as a fashion photographer. Due to travel restrictions, Lin found herself stuck in Taiwan when the virus emerged. She decided to use the new abundance of free time to take on this creative challenge that she had been wanting to do for a while. In an effort to go beyond her comfort zone and seek change and spontaneity in her work, Lin spends her days venturing new locations and pushing herself to enter new creative spaces. Staying true to her promise of spontaneity, Lin limits her preparation for shoots until the day off, ensuring that every image, from start to finish, is a reflection of that single day.

Featured on her Instagram, “Project 365” explores whimsical and surrealist compositions that bear resemblance to an early East Asian cinema aesthetic. Lin is influenced by Chinese opera and believes her cinematic aesthetic could be rooted in her childhood memories of watching movies with her father who is a film aficionado. Lin’s signature style is found in her colour schemes. Almost all of her images include a dreamy pop of red, blue, or orange, furthering that connection to Chinese culture. While her style stays consistent, the content in Lin’s photos shows no rhyme or reason. Ranging from imaginative portraits to lush landscapes, Lin approaches her photography without any boundaries or limits. 

Through experiencing days that are driven by inspiration and days of creative drought, this introspective project is an opportunity for Lin to learn more about who she is as an artist.  As she nears the finish line, she will undoubtedly come out of this experience with new insight and will hopefully inspire others to embark on a similar reflective journey.