Yan Sham-Shackleton is a Hong Kong native, who now resides in Los Angeles. She lived in New Zealand as a child and traveled extensively through Australia, Asia, Europe and Central America, often taking photos. At 16 she and four female classmates in Hong Kong created a short theatre production called, "Guide to Female Logistics."
In 1997 she graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in anthropology. There she participated in the majority of her riot grrrl inspired activities, such as "Women Ensemble Theater (WET)", co-directed a documentary on women and tattoos, and assisted in editing issues of the zine Yummi Hussi.
After graduation, she returned to Hong Kong where she worked as an editor and producer of Asian internet portals. In 2005 her blog "Glutter.org," was nominated for a free speech award by Reporters Without borders for her promotion of democracy in Hong Kong and China. She has participated in discussions on PBS and BBC, and at an Amnesty International conference. In 2008 she took a hiatus to stay home with her son. As he grows up, she is slowly developing new projects. In 2014 she became an editor on the well respected Reddit Thread documenting the Hong Kong Democratic Movement. Known as "The Umbrella Movement", students and citizens occupied the city center for 79 days.