Newly minted VII photographer Sim Chi Yin's selected works

Homegrown photographer Sim Chi Yin, whose work has won international acclaim, adds another feather to her cap this month as she becomes the first Singaporean and Asian to join the prestigious VII photo agency.

The former Straits Times China correspondent will start off as an interim member whose full membership will depend on a vote by other members two years later. She was also in the VII mentor programme, where senior VII member Marcus Bleasdale guided her, for the last three years.  

We take a look at just a slice of her award-winning body of work. 

A young woman prostrating herself after taking every step during her pilgrimage to Lhasa in August 2006. Her hands were covered in animal hide mitts and her legs cushioned by a rubber apron as she made her way by the side of a two-lane highway between Lhasa and Damxung. The journey for some pilgrims can take up to two years. 

Former samsui woman Yip Say Mui, 90, collecting cardboard around a market near her Redhill flat to earn some money in 2008. She was too old to work any longer in a construction site, and too proud of her independence to rely on government welfare. Madam Yip has since died of throat cancer.

People in the Myanmar village of Tumyung, accessible only by an hour-long ride in a small boat from the town of Phyarpon, struggling to get life back to normal after Cyclone Nargis hit in mid-2008.

A worker dusting down the Juche Tower, which symbolises North Korea's ideology of self-reliance, next to a bronze statue of three people - the intellectual, worker and farmer, each holding high their tools, forming the insignia of the ruling Korean Workers' Party. 

Singapore Paralympic swimmer Theresa Goh preparing to hit the pool hours after landing in Beijing for the 2008 games.

Blind Chinese judokas - all Paralympics hopefuls - practising their moves at a new 222 million yuan (S$44 million) training centre built in Beijing's southern suburbs after five years of lobbying by disability advocates.

The skulls of some of the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia on display in 2009. 

A high school student taking notes on a genocide education tour in front of a painting by S-21 survivor Van Nath, at an exhibition at the prison which is now a museum.

Rural house church leaders praying in 2010 at a gathering in Nanyang city, Henan province, known to be a hotbed of house churches. In recent years, the urban Chinese congregation has grown much more quickly than the rural one but it was here in the countryside that Christianity took root over the past 30 years, with many converting because of health or family problems.

Farmer Ci Ahpo getting his eyes tested in Yunnan province before being prepared for free surgery by Singapore volunteer doctors in 2010. He had been blind in his right eye since his 20s, and a cataract had clouded his left eye in recent years.