silent roar

photographer GUANG YU
retoucher ALEX LAN
makeup artist EDDIE
wardrobe stylist 77
model PHILENA
 

How long have you been a photographer?

I started working as a photographer from 2011 when I received my first commercial assignment. This would mark my 11th year as a professional photographer.

What pushed you on this path in the beginning?

I first came into contact with photography when I was a student at the National Taiwan University of Arts. At the time, I came to know many classic works of film and photography. Looking at these images, I felt very drawn into them, and there began a creative practice. That was the time when people were still shooting on film, and photography was not something widely taken up like today, so every image was extremely precious. In such a context, the ability of photography to record the reality of the here and now and to capture fleeting moments was something captivating for me. Seeing the world through the viewfinder, I was no longer looking at my dull student life, but rather moments filled with the energy of life. A sense of curiosity intertwined with anxieties stemming from feelings of helplessness and the ephemerality of time slipping by drew me to become fascinated with photography, and I wanted never to leave without my camera by my side again.

Tell us about your favourite shooting.

In the years of shooting, I have photographed many different kinds of products and people. I still find that my favorite subjects to shoot are people. They do not necessarily have to be professional models. I also enjoy shooting ordinary people who have not been trained to pose in front of a camera very much. I love to capture the different expressions and gestures of people in different situations. Those are the most genuine moments. I have always found the human body to be very beautiful. You can spin off many different kinds of imaginations from them—sensual, mechanical, concrete, or abstract. They can also simulate forms found in nature. This is especially so when illuminated under light—the different facets of expression will be even more varied.

What inspires you?

As I mentioned earlier, when I first became exposed to photography, that was still the time when people shot on film. What has been incredible is the progress of technology. Now, we can go online and use wireless Bluetooth earphones at any time. I would push myself to keep with the times and stay at the forefront of photography, continuing to create high-quality images while also enjoying the transformations brought about by high technology and creating the atmospheres and images I have in mind more precisely. During my student years, I took my camera along with me everywhere to shoot. The experience of documenting different households in my hometown has especially left me with a lasting sense of wonder and loss from the sense of time passing in photography. I think what drives me to carry on shooting is the satisfaction from capturing beautiful moments. This is especially so when I manage to concretely photograph an image I had been crafting in my mind. That kind of joy is indescribable, and can be addictive. It is what has driven me to keep shooting. This desire to express myself clearly through the lens has never changed from the very beginning, and has even been enhanced with the progress of technology.

What subjects do you like to reflect in your photographs and why?

This is such a big question. Along with changes in my age and state of mind, my photographs have also taken on different appearances. In the early days, I enjoyed including elements of absurdity in my photographs, presenting a kind of quirkiness through interactions between props and models. However, thinking about it carefully, the themes found in my photographs have always revolved around a sense of gentleness. Maybe it’s because I am an introvert, and my photographs generally have not been filled with wild passionate feelings, nor rich or saturated. I enjoy capturing soft expressions in people’s eyes and the gentleness in their demeanor. To me, gentleness is something that encompasses rich sentiments and that does not require a big show of grand gestures. It takes on an appearance of something that happens naturally and that is filled with love.
Aside from expressing gentleness through the use of models, I also enjoy creating lighting atmospheres that inspire feelings of gentleness. Even if the shooting angles are strong and intentional, it is still possible to inspire an overall sense of gentleness through the use of lighting. When I look back upon my photographs, I think the theme of gentleness is something that I most enjoy reflecting in my photographs.

What is your main goal for your career?

Thinking about it carefully, I am only starting out in my first decade in the work of photography. If my physical and mental energy allows me, I hope to carry on shooting, and I hope I can I carry on for several decades more. Especially because photography is a very broad field, in terms of my main career goals, I hope to create a visual language of my own, so that when I shoot a series of photographs, people can tell they were shot by me, and can also clearly understand what I am trying to express with them. I hope that as a photographer, I can reach a level where my work is me, and I am my work.

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