Zhou Han Shun Interview

Please introduce yourself.
I was born in Singapore, but working and living in Hong Kong at the moment. I make a living working in a creative agency and focus on my photography outside of work.

Please give us some background on the work you submitted. Where were these pictures taken? Are they part of a specific project?
These photographs are part of a project that focuses on the current and changing states of a city caught between two different times. After 155 years of freedom and westernized way of life, under the British colonial rule, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. And recently, this city seems to be going through a period of difficulty and uncertainty, as told by mass media. So to better understand this city, I took to my camera and try to capture the daily life of its people and culture, as well as its mood and emotions. The photographs in this project are taken all over Hong Kong, both the urban and rural areas. I tried to stay away from portraying the usual scenes as seen from popular and mass media.

Describe your creative process. Is there a particular camera/film combination that you like the most? Were these images processed at a lab or developed by hand?
My creative process is simply walking to see what I can discover on any particular day. I also observe the light, sometimes ending up “chasing after it”. I’m currently using a Minolta CLE with 40mm Summicron lens, which suits me well, since it’s small and relatively light. I shoot with Tri-X and process it in my bathroom.

Tell us about how you got into photography and what inspires you to take pictures?
I remembered my first camera was my father’s Minolta SRT when I was still a child. Can’t remember how old I was then. I majored in photography in my final year of art school, but kind of stopped for a while after I graduated. Partly due to the crazy hours of my industry. But in recent years, I became much more serious about photographing, partly because I love to explore and wander and partly because it’s what makes me feel alive. It’s also something which I see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Are there any unique challenges to photography in your area? Any advantages?
The most challenging thing about photography in Hong Kong is that most people are extremely wary of being photographed, maybe because there’s so many people with cameras nowadays. The good thing is, this situation provides good training to be a better image maker and storyteller.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
A big thank you for featuring my work.

You can find more photography by Zhou Han Shun at http://simondchew.wix.com/hanshun and his facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/hanshun.zhou