Shenandoah student En Lin Qing’s dual majors of psychology and dance support and inform his developing photography career.
Some of Qing’s dance-focused work was recently featured in the December 2017 issue of Lens magazine (#39, for which he was also interviewed), and the fall 2017 issue of Circle Quarterly Art Review, along with pieces from 52 additional international contemporary artists. Additionally, his photo work (including a professional partnership with dancer/dance instructor Zoey Cruz) was featured in The Fox Magazine and he participated in a New York Film Academy summer intensive. In January, he received a “Leonardo Da Vinci/The Universal Artist” Second International Prize in Florence, Italy.
Qing heads his own photography firm, NLink Photography, and through it, he frequently photographs Shenandoah Conservatory dancers and dance performances. Also, during the summers of 2015 and 2016, Qing undertook cross-country photo adventures rather than staying with friends or relatives for the summer. “I packed my camping bags and camera gear and went on the road. Later on, a friend joined halfway through and took video of the rest of the trip; we are still working on processing that footage. I captured more than 20,000 images of the great wonders of all those states that I drove through; including cityscapes and natural landscapes. People who know my work said that after the trip, my work had changed in a subtle way that is difficult to describe verbally – I think maybe is the “calmness” that somehow got into my work, but I guess I can’t say for sure.” Qing has dubbed the work from this adventure, “En America – The Land of Freedom.”
His love of photography emerged when he received his first camera at age 12. His first photos, as a schoolchild in his home country of China, weren’t top-notch. He recalled them being “horrible document images that my classmate wanted me to erase.” Even so, he was fascinated by the art form. “What drew me to it was the ability to pause time, to save a fraction of a second.” He grew as a photographer, graduated from high school, and focused on landscape photography. Friends challenged him to do more, which opened the door to dance photography.
Qing, who is set to graduate in December 2018, chose Shenandoah the place to study and develop his skills because it allowed him to “start new and fresh as an individual.” His psychology studies allow him to interact more efficiently with people of different backgrounds and ages, and help him question and challenge his art in exciting ways. “Dance helped me to learn about movements and body language, and how to present them to the audience in the way that is abstract and realistic at the same time. I couldn’t be luckier because psychology and dance are in a way, a study of human beings, from mind to body and body to mind.”
He added that the university’s location, within easy traveling distance to metropolitan artistic centers like Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City, has helped him expand his awareness of art. He studied at the New York intensive in the summer of 2017, because he felt his art had hit a wall, and he wanted to learn more and see what he had missed. He said his work in the intensive opened previously unexplored creative doors to him, and helped him establish new, artistically satisfying friendships.
This is why I keep telling others that when you feel your art has reached its limit, seek education, because it is always good to know what is out there.” —En Lin Qing
While building a growing career while also studying full time isn’t simple, it works for Qing. “Personally, I thrive under the right amount of stress; it is what keeps me alert,” said Qing, who added that applying what he’s learned brings him great joy. He applies his talents and understanding in multiple ways, and doesn’t play favorites when it comes to photographic subject matter. “Why would I put myself in a box where there is a whole world around me?”
It appears the world, or at least New York, is waiting for Qing, who promotes his work not only through shows and magazine features, but also on social media channels like Instagram and Facebook. He anticipates attending graduate school in the city to pursue photography and bring his art to yet another level. Check out Qing’s work at NLink Photography.
All Photos by En Lin Qing | NLink Photography