Interview with "Invisible Photographer Asia"

© Kevin WY Lee / Invisible Photographers
Bejing based photographer Katharina Hesse directed us to a very interesting blog about street photography in Asia: The Invisible Photographer Asia (IPA) is a collective of five photographers who share a passion for street photography and photo journalism. It was founded by Kevin WY Lee (Singapore) about a year ago. The goal is to strengthen the presence of Asian photojournalism online with a website and the blog "Invisible Photographer Asia". Here an interview with founder Kevin WY Lee ...

What was the idea behind creating this platform?

Invisible Photographer Asia was first started merely out of personal interest and a personal need to collect. There is a lot of great work in Asia by unknown and upcoming photographers, but there didn't seem to be a strong Asia-wide platform that featured them. The name Invisible Photographer Asia was first coined to represent the method/style of street and documentary photography that I subscribe to i.e. the photographer being a non-influencing 'invisible' observer. The name now also represents our aim to bring visibility to emerging/established photographers and their work.

Is Asian street photography special and/or different compared to others, and if, how do you think it differs from others?

Asian street photographers approach their photographs in the same spirit. Their methods and sensibilities may differ though. Asians tend to be more reserved in a social encounters. They also have different cultural references and aesthetic tastes. When out in the streets, Asian geography and social behavior are different too affecting the final photographs themselves. Asia is a large continent, so there will be differences within too. Street photography was founded in the west, so I have to admit that there is currently more diversity and maturity in the west compared to Asia.
© Kevin WY Lee / Invisible Photographers
What is the difference for you between todays street photography  and that of the 50s or 60s?

Old, classic street photography were generally more formal, obvious and structured. Nowadays, you see less formality, more layered compositions, impressions and mood photographs. More humor and wit too. Oh yes, and color - vivid color.

Many photographers in Europe and the US complain about shrinking photography fees and the end of photojournalism. How is the situation of working photographers in Asia?

The situation is the same in Asia, and dare I say probably worst as the jobs with good budgets might still go to the 'name' western photographer. Hopefully, this will change as more talented Asian photographers emerge, be known and be commissioned for their local eyes.

It is said that most European and American publications often send their own photographers for major stories and use local photographers only as stringers or assistants. Do you think that is true if, why?

Yes, as mentioned in the previous answer. These publications have European and American audiences so the editors feel better sending their own photographer because they feel they are hiring eyes with the same cultural and aesthetic values as them and the audience. They feel they will get 'right' pictures from their own photographers. But hopefully the definition of right will evolve, and I believe it is.
Is street photography political or a political tool for you? If it is, how is it political and if not, why is it not?

Street Photography is not political to me. I feel that something is political only if you set out to do it with political intentions. My intentions are not political. Street photography to me is observation photography. Certain photographs may hint at political ideology but that is never intentional. I have never heard a street photographer say his photography was political.

1 Kommentar:

trawler666 hat gesagt…

What a great photo! Keep up the great work. Followed