The Inspiring Mind of LomoAmigo Kar Yan Cheung from Bruce Mau Design


We met up with the incredible team of Bruce Mau Design and interviewed two of their great designers. For the second interview, we have the awesome Kar Yan Cheung sharing her thoughts on photography and the studio photos taken with the LC-A+ and LC-Wide!

Photo taken with the LC-Wide and Lomography CN 400 35mm

Tell us a little bit about what you do, what your role at BMD is, and what your life philosophy is.
I’m a designer at Bruce Mau Design, and I don’t know if I have a personal philosophy, per say… But a friend once shared with me something that Steve Jobs quoted (it’s actually originally from the Whole Earth Catalogue) that’s stuck with me since: Stay hungry, stay foolish. I try to remind myself of these things in whatever I take on, including life itself. If there’s anything I’d add to that, it would be to: Stay humble. You can’t learn if you aren’t humble.

What inspires you to work at Bruce Mau Design?
The breadth of work and depth of people are what really make our studio what it is. The kinds of projects and challenges we get to tackle amazes me still and it’s what makes the work so diverse and meaningful. But for me, what’s really special about BMD are the generous, quirky, inspiring and talented team of people I get to work with each day. It goes without saying that if you genuinely care about the projects and the people, you’re more likely to get to some place new and interesting in your work.

When did you first get interested in design?
Back when I was a biology major in university, I bought Lifestyle, the studio’s monograph, on the recommendation from a friend. It was like going on a blind date; I had never heard of BMD, let alone really knew what design was. That happy accident was monumental for me, and that book ended up changing how I understood design and even how I approached biology. It’s been a tumultuous love affair with design ever since.

Photo taken with the LC-Wide and Lomography CN 400 35mm

How does the Bruce Mau Design team come up with work ideas?
At the studio, we try to keep our work and creative process as open and visual, as possible by pinning up our work on 4×8’ boards. It’s an analog and ad-hoc process that’s also very effective, because we can look at everything together, all at once. I guess you can think of them as a giant tactile wikipedia page for ideas.

Can you briefly describe your typical workday?
I’m not sure I have a typical workday. It usually starts with coffee and ends with sleep. Everything in between is up for grabs. Perhaps it’s a bit taxing to think of work this way, but I think design always bleeds into life, in that you never know what experiences will be fodder for the project you’re working on today or the project you’ll be working on 5 years from now. Life influences your work (and vice versa), and that basically breaks ‘design’ out of the confines of a typical 9 to 5 workday.

Photo taken with the LC-A+ and Lady Grey B&W 400 35mm

What activities outside from work inspire you further?
Usually doing anything but working on the project helps me get inspired. Reading, walking, talking, sleeping, eating, dancing. It’s somewhat of a cruel joke that your brain plays on you, but you get the best ideas, can make the most interesting leaps and connections when you’re not even really trying.

Do you incorporate photography to your work? How?
Always. And it can be harder to find the right image than the right words to create a mood or idea, because images are loaded with information that we interpret. You can spend hours looking for a single image sometimes.

Photo taken with the LC-A+ and Lady Grey B&W 400 35mm

How do you execute your ideas?
We like to say that the studio is a place of study. It’s where you learn, explore, experiment, succeed and fail, over and over again. At the beginning of each project, you have to embrace getting lost, suspend judgment, and know that you will eventually find your way out of the forest. That’s how ideas usually start— with deep research and immersion.

Photo taken with the LC-A+ and Lady Grey B&W 400 35mm

Analogue vs. Digital, what’s your stand?
I think there is a time and place for both, so balance is key. For me, there’s something very special and textural with analog things. The process is more transparent and the product is more intimate. With digital, I usually get a different kind of feeling. The networked and immediacy of digital formats are indispensable nowadays, and in many ways it’s helped to democratize information, or knowledge even. But I would say that we still predominately operate as analog creatures… for the time being at least. Though I have 30 gigs of MP3s, I will always love the ritual of putting on a record.

Are you working on other projects? Tell us about them.
Well right now I’m working on conceptual programming and exhibit design for a NYC music museum. I’m also on a project in Boston that’s addressing urban design and branding within the larger context of a university campus masterplan project. Up next is a collaboration with our friends at HWKN on a book that challenges us to rethink current perceptions around aging and reimagine how we live out the final half of life.

Any inspiring tips for our Lomography Community?
Create, create, create. Challenge yourself to make things and carry it through to the end. Inspiration and learning come to you during the process of creation and completion. And if it makes you uncomfortable, even better. The creative process should make you vulnerable, especially to failure, because that’s how you grow in your work or life. That’s how you know it’s something worth doing…

Look out for our next article with one more amigo inside BMD!

The Lomo LC-Wide boasts the newly-developed 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. This 35mm camera wonder is the perfect companion for your photo expeditions. It produces eye-catching splashes of colour with astonishing saturation and contrasts with the added versatility of 3 different formats. Open up to a new photographic experience with the LC-Wide, available in our Shop.

Lomography’s Lady Grey is a lovely black and white 35mm ISO 400 film that will add class and elegance to your photos. For capturing action and great low-light shots, Lady Grey is your best bet. See our selection of Lomography films here.

written by jeanettelee on 2012-04-16 in #people #lomoamigos #kar-yan-cheung #design-studio #design-firm #bruce-mau-design #canada

One Comment

  1. tattso
    tattso ·

    kar yan!!!

More Interesting Articles

  • A Petzval Series with Sarah Zanon

    written by givesmehell on 2015-04-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    A Petzval Series with Sarah Zanon

    Sarah Zanon is an incredibly talented graphic design student and photographer. She has agreed to share with us her beautiful series of photographs taken with our well-loved Petzval Lens. Here's an exclusive interview with her!

  • LomoAmigo Luka Tacon: Demasiado Sabor!

    written by katphip on 2016-02-10 in #people #lifestyle #locations #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Luka Tacon: Demasiado Sabor!

    We met our new LomoAmigo Luka Tacon as we danced to the hypnotic beats of his music project Heartbreaker at our Lomo'Instant Wide Launch Party in NYC. Now, the brooklyn-based DJ and electronic music producer is preparing for an epic Lover's Ball at House of Yes with his friends at Might Get Weird, experimenting with the La Sardina and LC-A, and feeling the Latin rhythms of Costa Rica. Read more about his inspirations and analog adventures. As a special bonus, you can listen to his exclusive Heartbreaker set!

  • First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-02 in #gear #news
    First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    In case you missed it, Lomography has just unveiled the latest member of its Art Lens family: the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens, which boasts of the same optics that the legendary LC-A camera has and brings the classic Lomographic style not only to analog but also to the digital platform. Over the next few days we'll be sharing with you the first impressions of and photographs taken by members of the Lomography team, who had gone out and put the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 to the test. First up is graphic designer Andrea Cislaghi, who coupled this lens with the Bessa R2 and Sony Alpha 7.

  • Shop News

    Check the New Super Sampler Black Panther!

    Check the New Super Sampler Black Panther!

    The ultra-lightweight, low-maintenance 35mm camera that fits perfectly in your hand for some wild and spontaneous shooting!

  • LomoAmigo: Paul White

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-20 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo: Paul White

    Paul White is a South East London-based hip-hop producer with tons of energy and a penchant for film photography. He recently released his fifth album on the mighty R&S label. We decided to arm him with a Sprocket Rocket to shoot his adventures with. Read the full interview and see his images here.

  • Coloring Outside the Lines with LomoAmigo Tim Kerr

    written by jacobs on 2015-02-16 in #people #lomoamigos
    Coloring Outside the Lines with LomoAmigo Tim Kerr

    We recently had the great opportunity to interview our latest LomoAmigo, Tim Kerr. While his repertoire stretches back to the late 1970's and includes that of musician, artist, painter, photographer, skater and many other things, he just prefers Tim! We gave him a La Sardina DIY, which he not only added his own style to, but shot some excellent photos with as well. Rife with candid and thoughtful answers, we expect everyone will glean a nugget of wisdom and leave with a smile.

  • LC-A 120 LomoAmigo: Göktürk Ayan (NSFW)

    written by Lomography Türkiye on 2016-01-15 in #people #lomoamigos
    LC-A 120 LomoAmigo: Göktürk Ayan (NSFW)

    A few months ago, Göktürk Ayan, shot with the LC-A 120 and exhibited the photos in Lomography Embassy Store İstanbul. Here are some of the photos, along with a short interview with the Turkish photographer.

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • LomoAmigo: Sprocket Rocket Away with COIN

    written by givesmehell on 2015-04-11 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo: Sprocket Rocket Away with COIN

    COIN is a talented synth-pop band based in Nashville. As a LomoAmigo, the band's members have taken a series of photographs using our Sprocket Rocket camera. Find out more about them and their experience with it in an exclusive interview!

  • First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Ron Lau

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-13 in #gear #news #reviews
    First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Ron Lau

    Ron Lau from Lomography's Camera and Lens Development team recently tested the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens. With Leica M2 and Voigtlander R2A cameras, he used the lens to capture scenes from his daily grind and beautiful seascapes from a recent trip. He shares the photos and talks of the Minitar and its capabilities in this brief yet informative interview.

  • Newcomer of the Week: johannb

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-30 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: johannb

    Graphic designer Johann Bottos caught the community's attention with his striking black and white landscape photographs. Previsualization is central to his photographic style. Before clicking the shutter, he tends to "wait for a particular moment or weather condition" that fits the image he has in mind. In this interview, he shares more about his passion for shooting on film as well as some of his favorite landscape images.

  • Shop News

    Be Sharp and Get Accurate Shots!

    Be Sharp and Get Accurate Shots!

    Never go wrong with amount of light entering your lenses. Perfect for any photo shoots, very handy, lightweight and extremely versatile!

  • Lomo’Instant Wide Quick Shots in Soho

    written by lomographysoholondon on 2016-01-19 in #world #tipster
    Lomo’Instant Wide Quick Shots in Soho

    The Lomography UK team has been pushing the Lomo'instant Wide camera to the limits! We've taken every opportunity to get trigger-happy with this lovable, instant camera. In this series we share some of our tips and tricks for getting superb images every time.

  • LomoAmigo Heison Ng's New Russar+ Lens Photo Collection

    written by minawoo on 2015-07-26 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Heison Ng's New Russar+ Lens Photo Collection

    LomoAmigo Heison Ng has once again shot a brilliant series of photographs. Last time, he shared photographs taken with the New Russar+ Lens mounted on his Sony A7 Camera during a trip to Paris and Barcelona. This time around, he created minimalist yet moody black and white photos, still with the New Russar+ Lens. Brace yourselves for his newest collection of New Russar+ Lens photographs!

  • Be part of FOTODC by showing your best photos at the W Washington DC Hotel!

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-10-29 in #world #events #competitions
    Be part of FOTODC by showing your best photos at the W Washington DC Hotel!

    Stop asking questions and start making statements. We have teamed up with the historic W Washington DC in conjunction with FotoDC to create a wall during the week of FotoWeekDC - one of the biggest photography festivals in the US. Take inspiration and use your imagination to bring the W values of fashion, music and design to life for a Lomowall that will be created in the Living Room (lobby) of W Washington DC.