Yi Sun

Yi Sun was born in 1982 in China and moved to the UK in 2000. He is a multi-talented individual with a rare combination of a scientific and fine art career. In 2009 he won a competitive scholarship and was awarded his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the University of Cambridge. He now leads his own research group at the University of Birmingham designing novel therapeutics for cardiovascular diseases.

From an early age, Yi was deeply attracted to visual arts. Combined with his love of nature, this motivated him to become an aerial photographer. Yi’s approach to aerial photography is academic, analytical with a sense of artistic romance. He strives for the best composition and is unafraid of using bold colour to provoke deep emotions from his viewers. He focuses both on untamed, unmanipulated wilderness, as well as on human influence on our planet. Through the creation of stunning photographic arts, he wants to raise the awareness of overlooked environmental issues and stimulate love for our beautiful but fragile planet.

His photographs are made flying in light aircraft or helicopters with open or no doors. He has a signature style of shooting straight down at the landscape, while the aircraft spins in aerobatic manoeuvres. This requires him to compose and execute images in a split second. Yi focuses on creating truly unique images. With the influence of modern abstract art, he uses simple but strong composition and colours. For this reason, his art often has the visual appearance of contemporary abstract paintings.

Through many years of disciplined self-reflective process, Yi has become an internationally recognised aerial photographer, winning many highly prestigious photography awards. Yi’s photographic journey took him to more than 30 countries including harsh desert, vast oceans, calm lakes, winding rivers, alien volcanic formations, vivid rainforests and magnificent glaciers.

Yi Sun - Coffee or Tea, Study 10, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Brazil, 2018

Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (Pharmacology), University of Cambridge, UK
BSc. Biological Sciences-Biochemistry (Sandwich), University of Leicester, UK

Selected Awards:
2019 ND Awards (Neutral Density Photography Awards), first Prize in Nature category
2019 13th Annual PX3 Awards, first prize in Fine Art category
2019 Earth Photo 2019, images permanently collected by the Royal Geographical Society and exhibited in the RGS HQ in Kensington, London
2018 International Photography Awards (IPA), 1st and 2nd places in Professional Nature Category
2018 Earth Photo Awards and Exhibition Finalist, organised by the Royal Geographical Society
2018 Chromatic Photo Awards, 2nd Prize in Professional Environmental Category
2017 Neutral Density Photography (ND) awards, 2 categories 1st and 2nd Prizes, and ND Nature Photographer of the Year
2017 Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) awards, 1st Prize in Professional Nature Category
2016 Px3 awards, overall 1st Prize in Professional Nature Category
2016 ND awards, 2nd Prize in Professional Nature Category
2015 ND awards, 2 categories 1st Prize and ND Fine Art Photographer of the Year
2015 Px3 awards, 1st Prize in Professional Fine Art Category
2015, 2016 & 2017 International Landscape Photographer of the Year (ILPOY) awards, included in the Top 101 photographs
2014, 2015 & 2016, National Geographic Travel Photo Contest, selected as editors’ favourites
2016 The Epson International Panoramic Photography Awards, Carolyn Mitchum Award 3rd Place

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