Based in London and Toronto, photographer Katya Ilina works at the intersection of portrait, fashion and observation. Her works explore themes of identity expression, gender, and the human condition in the context of social and cultural change. Born in Russia, Ilina has spent over a decade of her life moving between the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, the US, and Canada. Her artistic practice is informed by her multicultural perspective and the convergences/divergences of culture she has experienced. Preferring an approach that parallels the way she interacts in daily life, her work often attends to “imperfections” and the open-ended nature of the stories we tell:
“My visual language is spontaneous and direct. It aims to give immediate emotional access to the viewer. Most of my projects use a degree of candid observation, regardless of the genre. So I often shoot outdoors, in real-life environments, or using natural light. I love mixing rational and irrational (i.e. elements of chance) by focusing on capturing my experience of meeting with a person, a place or a situation. I believe this parallels everyday human experience, in which attention constantly shifts, and things observed slip in and out of peripheral vision. As a result, my photographs are full of ‘imperfections’ that define vernacular. I want the audience to feel free to interpret my open-ended stories in their own way that fits their realities.”
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