After shooting gymnasts for the first time five or six years ago, Leslie returned to the same gymnasium, this time appointed by fashion magazine Nylon. His series Little Flexes focuses on a group of teenage gymnasts training in China. For many Chinese young people of the same generation as Leslie Zhang, gymnastics is a sport that they are familiar with, no matter if it comes to the different events or style of clothes.
In a recent interview with Laura Isabelle, Zhang says that he only asked the gymnasts to do things they would normally do in training and that he had known their coach for years. Zhang: “In the beginning, my work was really about what was contemporary, as I was given a lot of opportunities to work in fashion. More and more so I’ve realised the things I have the deepest emotional connection to and find most beautiful are the sentiments from my memories of growing up in China. I now try to recreate these ambiences and moods in the images I create.”
Creating a body of work which spans fashion, stylised documentary and portraiture photography, Zhang’s work is deliciously drenched in saturated colour and whips up an emotive atmosphere of nostalgia.
Leslie Zhang (b. 1992, Yangzhou, China)
Photographer Leslie Zhang is a working from Shanghai. He’s amongst a new generation shaping China’s fashion and its imagery. His fashion photography has been published in multiple magazines like Another Man, Dazed and the China editions of Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Wallpaper*. The photographer had been included in the 2019 editions of BoF 500 and Dazed 100, the global search of talents shaping our culture today. Personal projects include various ongoing series as well as the Les Lies, the photographer’s first independent photobook published in 2017. The creative agency Fuwafuwa headed by the photographer was launched in 2020.
More information: lesliezhang1992 (instagram)