Sandra Chen Weinstein

Sandra is self-taught and inspired by Sebastião Salgado, Eli Reed, Steven McCurry, and Susan Meiselas. Sandra’s work focuses on documentary photography emphasizing human condition in social identity, culture, and minorities. She has dedicated long-term projects on women, minorities, and American pop culture. Sandra has lived and worked in Washington DC, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Canada while working with American Agency. While living in Japan, She taught Mandarin in College and studied ceramic art and exhibited this work in Japan and the US. Upon returning to Southern California in late ‘90s, she worked in technology and finance before she found passion using photography as her medium of art. In 2007-2008, she worked for master photographer of Magnum Photos Eli Reed, as personal assistant. Sandra’s portfolio, “SHE / They”, was specially featured at the Annenberg Space for Photography.Sandra has received numerous distinguished awards including: National Geographic Magazine International contest winner for People & Reader’s Collection, 1st Prize (Open Category) Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards, 1st Prize Winner of Robert Cornelius Portrait Award, Runner-Up for International Conservation Award in Culture, The Julia Margaret Cameron Awards, American Photography 33rd & 30th Annual Book Collections, and the Archive New York, and many other distinguish awards in U.S. galleries, museums. Her award-winning work has graced the covers and pages of many including European Photography Magazine, FotoMazgine Germany, Color Magazine, B/W Magazine, and more. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including the countries of Japan, New Zealand, Australia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and United Kingdom. Her work is in several private collections including: Museum, Gallery, University, Arab American Culture Center, Technology Corporation, and more.

Artist’s Statement

I have a great passion for people. I was very lucky to be able to travel and to live in many countries of the world, and to learn cultural diversity from East to West. Becoming a photographer is quite accidental – my photo from a trip to Inner Mongolia in 1996 was awarded by International Photography Award (IPA) in 2006. Many of my projects are very personal. As a female photographer, I have always been aware of the standards created in society that restrict women to traditional roles at the expense of their individual needs and desires. SHE/They is the current ongoing project. This series of candid and intimate portraits of women illuminates the dynamic and complex female psychology, the perception of tradition, love, identity and ideals in life. At the same time, this work demonstrates how women inhabit diverse bodies and express complex forms of self-determination. I incorporate “they,” in addition to the pronoun “she,” in my title to acknowledge the range of gender identities among women.