Yuan Xi Sun
HOME COOKING & EATING OUT. 在家做饭&外出就餐。
Last week I was sitting with Yuan Xi and drinking my ever-favourite avocado smoothie and it was crystal-clear – in front of me was one of the sharpest eyes I have ever met. Her Instagram account [@yuanxisun] is amazing – still life, food, flowers and sometimes herself, smiling shyly in front of the camera.
I personally love Instagram – it gives me the opportunity to express myself and share moments of my life without being too serious about it. And Yuan Xi makes the most of it. Her pictures are beautiful, sophisticated, interesting and not ordinary. And they perfectly describe the lifestyle of this young lady between Paris, London, New York, Beijing and, soon enough, Shanghai.
A common friend, Marte (whose Instagram account @martevanos is SO mouthwatering!), introduced us – and I was so excited but what I already knew about Yuan Xi. But you can’t imagine my joy when she started talking about all the other projects she is working on: as a fashion designer, as a food stylist, as a photographer.
I couldn’t stop asking questions – here is a selection of them.
As a woman’s-wear and textile designer, what inspired you to start with food photography?
It was 2 years ago that I moved out of my student residential hall to a lovely apartment in Maida Vale, London during my study in UK. I finally got my private space with a fully equipped kitchen. It was best time living in such a beautiful and friendly neighborhood. I spent almost every evening watching online food programs and got inspired every time I went to local food stores. I cooked a lot, and I enjoyed very much my life staying in Maida Vale, it was time for me to document this home-cooking journey, and share with friends. Once I started, I became addicted.
What do you want people to take from your pictures when they look at them?
At first I was just sharing for fun. Then I tended to see my Instagram gallery as a guide book: I’m not only sharing cooking ideas but some more dinning out experiences in the city where I live. My gallery is about lifestyle, it tells people what’s going on in the city and where to have fun.
You’ve been from Paris, to London, to New York, to Beijing. Does being surrounded by different lifestyles, different people and different cultures influence your photography?
Yes. Style of contents may change a little bit as I move. For example, New York is vibrant and artsy, with a great coffee scene. Photos are more about colours, cafés, modern dining… Beijing is rough, you can find more structural and textured backgrounds in those pictures.
Has the aesthetic of your blog, or the way you take pictures changed since when you first started?
Yes. Before New York the tones of the images were pale and calm, sometimes blurred. Then I moved to New York for a couple of months and this has changed the aesthetic of the blog to a sharp and colourful modern style. The New York instagrammers I follow have strong influence on my photographs: I started to filter them with different styles and toned up the contrast, making those images more like high resolution photos taken with camera (but with iPhone always…).
Does your designing career and your passion for food photography ever coincide with each other?
Not really. I’m still keeping these two interests well separated. They are two different worlds for me, and I’m travelling between them.
Is there anyone or any other account(s) that inspire you or influence your style in any way? Someone to look up to with your photography and blogging?
Yes. I’m a big fan of @alicegao, @kinfolk, @cerealmag, @aguynamedpatrick, @localmilk…and so many more!
噢，挺多的，比如@alicegao, @kinfolk, @cerealmag, @aguynamedpatrick, @localmilk。
Where do you see your passion taking you in the future? Next next for you?
I’m always dreaming to become a food stylist actually. But I also have passion for fashion design and I am right a fashion designer at the moment. I’ll keep working on fashion and keep the food styling up as my main interest, hopefully these two can coincide, either in 2 years or 3. Good luck to me!
It’s amazing, isn’t it? And she would just answer all my questions with a quiet smile, whiteout bragging about herself nor being arrogant. It looked like she was perfectly at her ease, just a little bit surprised this was all happening to her.
I was so under her spell. Just by looking at her pictures, hearing her stories, and drinking smoothies with her I felt so inspired. And, once again, I’m so happy I embarked on this blogging activity a year and a half ago – it gave me the opportunity to talk to amazing people. And my life is so much more fun and interesting.
Yuan Xi Sun disegna, fotografa, cucina. Il tutto avviene in punta di piedi, timidamente, quasi non volesse disturbare nessuno. Mi ha raccontato dei suoi viaggi e dei suoi sogni – e io sono grata di aver deciso di lavorare al mio blog. Yuan Xi e’ un’altra delle persone eccezionali che ho intervistato e che rappresentano una fonte di ispirazione importantissima.
For the chat with Yuan Xi I was delighted to wear:
silk top + leather mini skirt 丝绸上衣+皮革迷你裙: H&M
sneakers 运动鞋: Adidas
headband 发带: American Apparel
sunglasses 太阳眼镜: Ray-Ban
Pictures of us together were taken by Hope with her Canon T3i.
For all the other pictures special thanks to Yuan Xi.