Kiliii Yüyan

Kiliii Yuyan’s work is inspired both by his Nanai (Siberian Native) and Chinese-American heritage, as well as his yearning to tell the lost stories of Arctic communities. Kiliii learned about his Indigenous roots when, in his 20s, his grandmother lay on her deathbed chanting “Nanai,” the name for her Siberian people. This set him on a path toward discovering more about the culture of his ancient heritage. Kiliii has built his life’s work around photographing and documenting cultures similar to that of his ancestors, like the Alaskan Iñupiaq. He has also told the stories of Indigenous-led conservation efforts in Ecuador, Australia, and Greenland. While on assignment in extreme regions for National Geographic, Pacific Standard, Travel + Leisure, Sierra magazine, and Adventure Journal, Kiliii uses wilderness survival skills to fully immerse himself into the lives of the native peoples. He is a National Geographic Explorer and a member of Diversify Photo, a movement that calls for more diversity in the photo industry.

• Won National Geographic’s Travel Picture of the Year award, the Zeke Award for Systemic Change, the Leica Oskar Barnard Award, and others
• Featured in Grist 50's annual list of emerging leaders
• Named one of the "30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch" by Photo District News

About Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is a top travel media brand with a mission to inform and inspire passionate travelers. Our expert team includes a network of hundreds of writers and photographers across the globe, all providing a local eye on the best places to stay, eat, and explore. We reach an audience that takes 76 million round trips annually, offering valuable travel tips, ideas and inspiration, and products you need to get you to your destination — whether it’s a small town or big city, beach or lake, national park or theme park, road trip, cruise, or long-haul flight, and everything in between. Learn more about us and our editorial process

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