Standing on the sea ice, high above the Arctic Circle, I cut myself a sliver of raw frozen caribou and listen to the quiet stories of the Iñupiaq family who hunted it. Through frostbitten air, they speak of caribou, whales and family as though they are one and the same. That understanding of the implicit connection between the human and nature is what I am always seeking my camera.
Kiliii Yuyan is an indigenous Nanai photographer whose award-winning documentary work has been published by National Geographic China, The Nature Conservancy, Der Spiegel, and been exhibited around the world. On assignment, he has fled collapsing sea ice, weathered botulism from fermented whale blood, and found kinship at the edges of the world. He is based in Seattle.
Kiliii’s mission is to understand and promote the lessons of indigenous and subsistence cultures– those who live close to the land. Against a backdrop of ecological upheaval, he has found hope. Kiliii carries that hope through his photography and shows us the essential connection to nature that has kept traditional cultures alive for millennia. His work shows us an alternative vision of humanity’s greatest treasures– community, culture and the earth.
photos: Addie Asbridge
- National Geographic China 2017, Greatest Photographs of 2017
- PDN World in Focus 2017, 1st Place, Photo Essay
- PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, Gold, Press
- Critical Mass 2017, Top 50
- Center Santa Fe Review, Selection
- PDN Photo Annual 2017, Personal Work
- International Photography Awards 2017, Silver, Deeper Perspective
- Communication Arts Annual 2017, Multimedia
- Sienna International Photo Awards 2017, HM, Editorial
- International Photographer of the Year 2016, Silver, Editorial
- Sony World Photo Awards 2016, Shortlist, Still Life
- PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2015, HM, Press
- International Photography Awards 2015, HM, Feature Story, Portrait
- Communication Arts Annual 2015, Stock
- International Photography Awards 2013, HM, Conceptual
- 2017, Anthropocene, Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council, Seattle, USA
- 2017, Ambient Landscapes, Feature Shoot / Black Eye Gallery, Group Exhibition, Darlinghurst, Australia
- 2017, The Land, theprintspace Gallery, Group Exhibition, London, United Kingdom