Jonas Yip is a fine art photographer and musician based in the Los Angeles area. Born in Princeton, New Jersey to a poet-writer-professor father and an art historian mother, Jonas was raised in a creative environment steeped in art and music, poetry and performance, design and architecture, and plenty of world travel. Yet somehow Jonas became an engineer, building a successful career in Silicon Valley startup companies. Over the years, however,he never stopped pursuing his creative passions: music, design, and photography. Jonas has since left the high-tech world to concentrate exclusively on these smaller, more personal projects.

Jonas has been honored with numerous photography awards and his work has been exhibited internationally. Jonas has published two books, Somewhere Between (National Taiwan University Press, 2017) and Paris: Dialogues and Meditations (Nanjing University Press, 2008), in collaboration with renowned poet and scholar Wai-lim Yip. An exhibition, “Paris: Dialogue”, featuring photographs and poems excerpted from the books, traveled through Taiwan, China and Hong Kong and was also exhibited at the San Diego Museum of Art. The photographs and poems from that exhibition have been accepted into the permanent collections at the San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego, CA and the National Museum of Chinese Literature in Beijing, China.

See my CV for details of exhibits and honors.

A B O U T   T H E   W O R K

As a photographer I’ve explored the endless possibilities of photographic techniques, mastering the methods but ultimately embracing the wonderful potential in “incorrect” technique. The unpredictable effects of homemade lenses, manipulated photo materials, misaligned planes of focus, and aberrations have become my palette for photographic expression. My work explores themes of personal identity and memory: the anticipation of nostalgia, the haziness of recollection, the ephemerality of childhood, the sense of place and comfort of home, the pain of loss and displacement: fundamental concepts of human experience that form the building blocks of my identity, ultimately coalescing into an intimate record of the self.

The Fade Into Me series starts with a series of traditional studio figure studies: silhouettes, captured in motion, limbs and bodies appearing and fading behind a backlit scrim: simple black and white studies with a grace of their own. Once in the digital realm, however, these source images are stacked and shifted, overlaid in positive and negative forms, with the pixels combining in new ways to sing with unexpected color, revealing new textures and unusual interactions. The resulting series of images seem to reside in an unfamiliar space: not quite photographs (yet clearly photographic), not quite paintings (yet certainly painterly), reaching a place where these distinctions become blurred. 

In Paris: Dialogue, the world is rendered in dreamlike atmospheres, with sparse landscapes and empty cities visited only occasionally by ghosts and shadowy figures.

somewhere between explores a changing China as seen through the eyes of someone who is really neither Chinese nor Western, but right in the middle. (more…

re:place explores the idea of place, both physical and temporal, what defines these places, and how these places are replaced over time: what do we retain of an actual place in our memories? It is and ongoing diaristic series of moments that suggest stories, fragmented and unfinished, and ultimately left for the viewer to complete. (more…)

self imposed is a series of self portraits that studies the nature of external influences in the development of our self, our identity, and our personal style.

her dresses, one series within The Small Years project, features small, delicate prints of my daughter's childhood dresses, rendered in subtle pale tones that are barely there, on thin, translucent Japanese paper that itself will wrinkle and buckle as it is handled, fragile and faded, like lingering ghosts of childhood memories.

thirty three and a third merges disappearing album art and the spin of a record player to create a sensory experience of motion and music.

shan shui features unique hand-pulled Polaroids in which long-expired chemicals are manipulated to reveal evocative landscapes and cloudscapes reminiscent of Classical Chinese Shan Shui paintings.

More interested in capturing feeling than in capturing detail, I strive to find the beauty in the mundane, the extraordinary in the ordinary: that radiance revealed not in how things look, but rather in how you look at things

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