We are stoked to present our new article series: Vienna’s Asian Creatives.
This series will shine a light on special Asian creatives in Vienna, their stories, work and experiences. Since many people who are considered “Asian” are often swept under the rug, or not taken seriously, we want to do the opposite by highlighting them. Fighting the stereotypes, clichés and the marginalisation of the Asian community in Vienna.
Our first creative in focus is Christine Qiu also known as qiurii on Instagram.
Her artwork in photography is contemporary, dark, and you could say, almost avant-garde. Her unique concepts fascinate with her reimagining of love, intimacy, and the character of the individuals she portraits.
“I want to tell a story with my photographs. They aren’t just pictures on Instagram, they’re a story, resembling something very personal and raw.”
Christine makes her pictures seem alive and full of motion, creating a sense of realness and truth.
We followed Christine around for a day and asked her questions, and there was more behind the curtain than we expected.
Vienna Würstelstand: Introduce yourself.
Christine: I am Christine Qiu, 20 years old and I am a fashion and portrait photographer.
How did you become a photographer, and why?
It all started when I was 14 and got to play around with a camera. That was the moment when a spark of interest was ignited in me. For me, photography had always been something inspiring, it had been more than just pressing a button. It captured unique moments and conveyed meaningful messages. This was why I chose photography. Now I’m an independent photographer.
Were your parents supportive of the idea of you going independent?
They weren’t. Well, as they are as stereotypical as Chinese parents can be, they didn’t think highly of the creative industry, because there was a lot of risks involved and my parents have always preferred to take the safer road.
But I realized I wasn’t like that, I wanted to pursue photography and share my art. So I dropped out, even though my parents weren’t big fans of the decision.
And what about now? Do your parents support you now that they’ve realised you can live a stable lifestyle with this career?
They’ve accepted it. Although they aren’t really interested in my work and have never really seen it. I believe they just worry about me. I’m not mad about that. Things were different when they grew up and it is hard to accept that sometimes things change.
Do you have any issues with the photography industry as an Asian female?
As the industry is dominated by white males, people seem to think that my work, as a female Asian, isn’t as valuable as my white male counterpart’s work. In the past, I’ve been paid less than my white male colleagues, though we worked the same amount.
And what specifically gets on my nerves is people asking for free shoots. This leaves me wondering if they think that just because I’m Asian, I don’t charge for my work. But my work is as valid as any other photographer’s.
Do you have any tips/life-lessons for aspiring photographers and artists?
Be yourself, no matter what. Don’t be afraid. I know so many talented people that just don’t want to be out in public and share their work because they’re afraid of the criticism. Live out your creative vision and your hard work will be rewarded!
Christine Qiu isn’t just a photographer, she is a badass female representative of the Asian creative community and is a voice for issues such as racism, sexism, and identity. She is definitely somebody to look out for! Be sure to check out her work on her Instagram channel.
With that, we want to thank you, Christine, for taking the time and sharing your perspective with us.