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Shuntian Jiang shoots impactful music video for Muslim American rapper Mona Haydar
Shuntian Jiang has a unique style of cinematography that has allowed him to rise to one of the leaders of his industry in his home country of China.

He does not simply look at his role as filming a movie; he is an artist; he is a sculptor; he is a storyteller. He uses natural lighting and poetic, long takes to transport audiences to different places and times. To create authentic moments, he utilizes handheld camera work to make viewers feel immersed in the story. His singular goal is to aid in telling the story, serving the characters and evoking emotion with every shot.

Jiang's thoughtful approach to his craft is evident in all of his work. His artistry greatly contributes to the success of every project he takes on, from commercials, like the ones for mobile games Knives Out and Battle Warship, to critically acclaimed films, such as La Pieta and Tape

Jiang is extremely versatile and never limits himself to just one medium. On top of his success with films and commercials, he is known for his work on several music videos, including the hit "Barbarian" for Muslim American Rapper Mona Haydar. The pointed video addresses the prejudice Muslim woman face in modern American society. 

"I really like the song, because it's a rap song that addresses social issues. Nowadays, a lot of rap songs are just about parties, drugs and money. I can hear a lot of attitude in this song. It reminds me of all the great rap songs from the 90s. Just like 2Pac rapping about the problems black people face in America, Mona is rapping about minority women not fitting in with Western beauty standards," said Jiang.

"Barbarian" was an instant hit, resonating with listeners all over the world. This music video was released on Haydar's YouTube Channel last January and has amassed over 875,000 views. Jiang is proud to have been a part of not only such a successful project, but one that conveys such an important message. 

"I always liked rap music growing up, so I was very happy to shoot a rap music video. I like this genre of music because most rap artists represent his/her community; rap also can bring discussion to social topics," said Jiang. "There aren't a lot of female rappers, not to mention Muslim rappers. Mona really brings a lot of fresh ideas to the rap game."

Initially, Haydar was just looking for someone to shoot an interview and behind the scenes footage of her song, but after working with Jiang, she was extremely impressed with his work ethic and talent and asked him to shoot the video. Jiang really liked the song and jumped on board immediately. 

When creating the video, Jiang worked closely with Haydar to come up with a look that best represented her vision. Together with Director Hadeel Hadid, they decided to go for a saturated and colorful tone to showcase women of different ethnicities. Jiang also had a small crew and equipment package to create naturalistic cinematography without dramatic lighting. The wardrobe was very colorful and elegant, so Jiang's lighting would not overpower the rich colors of the garment. The result is simply stunning thanks to Jiang's approach.

"I liked working on this project a lot. Music videos are a really special experience. Different from narrative and commercial, the shoot looks less like a production but more like a show. Hadeel and I didn't have a very planned out shot list, and we improvised a lot because the artist came up with a lot of different ideas on the shoot. It makes the shoot full of unexpected surprises, and I was able to grab a lot of interesting shots that could not be planned in advance," he said. 

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