Sandra Chen Weinstein
Sandra is self-taught and inspired by Sebastião Salgado, and Magnum Photographers.
Sandra’s work focuses on documentary photography emphasizing social identity, culture, and minorities.
She has dedicated long-term projects on women, minorities, refugees, LGBTQ, and American pop culture.
SHE / They
I have always been aware of the standards created in society that restrict women to traditional roles at the expense of their individual needs and desires. Women in every society face the task of transforming these expectations of others in order to match their own sensibilities and ambitions. This series of candid and intimate portraits of women illuminates the dynamic and complex female psychology, the perception of tradition, love, identity and ideals in life. At the same time, this work demonstrates how women inhabit diverse bodies and express complex forms of self-determination. I incorporate “they,” in addition to the pronoun “she,” in my title to acknowledge the range of gender identities among women.
This project depicts the intimacy and expression of American life in California. The subjects of these un-posed portraits embraced their own longing and sexuality both in private and public. I strive to raise them images of all above the clichéd situations and stereotypes, allowing the display of intimacy of wonder, free spirit, complexity, and vulnerability. In this way I hope to reliably portray their identities through their self-expression and celebration of sexuality, freedom, love, and their role in relationships.
Sandra is self-taught and inspired by Sebastião Salgado, Eli Reed, Steven McCurry, Stuart Franklin and Susan Meiselas.
Sandra’s work focuses on documentary photography emphasizing social identity, culture, and minorities. She has dedicated long-term projects on women, minorities, and American pop culture. Sandra has lived and worked in Washington DC, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Canada while working with Foreign Service. She studied ceramic art and exhibited this work in Japan and the US.
Upon returning to Southern California in late ‘90s, she worked in technology and finance before she became a full-time photographer.
Sandra has received numerous distinguished awards including: 1st Prize (Open Category) Kuala Lumpur International Photo awards (2017), 1st Prize Winner of Robert Cornelius Portrait Award, two-time winner of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, International contest winner for National Geographic Magazine & Reader’s Collection, and Runner-Up for International Conservation Award in Culture, Winner of the American Photography 33rd (2017) & 30th (2014) Annual Book Collection, and the Archive New York.
Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including most recently at: MIRAGE Gallery Japan, Mt. Rokko Garden Photo Fair Japan 2018, Auckland Festival of Photography New Zealand 2018, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts 2018, Aperture Gallery 2017, Ballart Foto Biennale 2015 Australia, Head On Poto festival 2015 Australia, Pingyao International Photo festival (2015, 2007). SKM International Photo festival Taiwan. Thai-American International Exhibition with Steve McCurry, Bangkok. The Museum of Big Band, MOPLA, Photo LA, Griffin Museum, Pacific Asia Museum,The Center for Fine Art. Stanford Art Center.
Her work is in several private collections including: Museum, Gallery, University, Arab American Culture Center, Apple, Inc. executive officer, and more.