Taiwan／Slovenia ，Nikon F1／LomoKino – The photography MX project brings two vastly different countries together through Simon’s click of the shutter. The photos also dynamically documented the growth of his daughter, Sonja.
Name ：Simon Chang
From ：Taiwan / Slovenia
Website ： http://www.simon.chinito.com/
One fine day in July, Simon came to Taipei’s LGS Lomolab to collect his first roll shot on the LomoKino and we conducted the following interview. Not only did he share his attitude towards photography, he also made us view photography from a brand new perspective.
Q1. Before you started using Lomography cameras，did you first think about the photograph’s theme and composition?
Although I didn’t start out with Lomography cameras, it doesn’t mean that there is no need to plan if I am shooting Lomo! Sometimes I will ask myself before I press the shutter if there is anything I can control. Perhaps I can make use of the weather （Like this LomoKino short movie, I MX the winter and summer scenes，it recorded the extreme “coldness” of Slovenia and MX it with the hot summer scenes of Taiwan.
When the Nikon F1 & LomoKino MX project was developed，I discovered that the second exposures are outside of the LomoKino's frame，this is where it gets interesting！And due to this experience, I discvered that I can go beyond the frames and connect the two images together! If I just simply load the film into the LomoKino black lines framing the images are like a form of restriction. Can’t I let the story happen outside the black frame?
Q2. MX is always unpredictable, what makes you want to do this MX project?
The main objective is to link up my two hometowns. I had stayed in Europe for 10 years, and I was focused on photographing European events. But I had been spending a fair bit of time in Taiwan these 2 years, how do I connect these two hometowns that are more than 7600km apart? Through a photograph perhaps! I instinctively thought of 2 methods – MX and Montage（Tainan MIDVA+1 exhibition，regardless that the people of both countries have different skin tones, I am shooting my own life to a certain degree, this is the joy of photography!
Q3. What do you think of Lomography cameras？
I feel that Lomography cameras are designed to be used close to people, their small and harmless designs don’t feel threatening. They won’t make people feel that you are shooting them with a scary and gigantic monster. I think there is a reason why Lomography cameras are designed this way! If you are willing, you can get close up to your subjects, strike up a conversation, and listen to their stories!
Q4. How do you feel when you see your own LomoKino movie for the first time today?
Although the subjects are my closet kin and the beach outing happened quite recently, the innocent and pure imageries still touch my heart every time.
Q5. What emotions do digital and analogue cameras evoke in you?
A roll of film can take at most 100+ images, nothing more. You will know that there is a limit. When I was shooting with the LomoKino hand was cranking the film and I can feel something beating along in my heart! This is the type of design that is really compatible with human nature, you work is not mostly done after your press the shutter release!
I actually videoed a lof of daily scenes using my mobile phone, and I post processed it to look like being shot on film. But this is just a computer technique. It had a different feel than actual shooting on film. Using a mobile phone is really convenient as you just need to press a button but somehow something seems lacking. LomoKino makes me feel more in control when shooting. This is why analogue photography is fun!
Q6. With regards to film’s light leaks and grains, some people will feel that they render the image imperfect, but you seem to think otherwise?
There is no perfect photo in this world, and there is no perfect tool, you can’t stare too long at a photo that you feel is perfect or your eyes will feel strained （？），But I feel that there is near perfect emotion in this world, be it happiness or sadness. If the flaws are compatible with the story I am telling, that would be great！The most important thing about a photo is the story it is trying to convey, not about superior techniques or perfect composition.
Q7. Did your view of photography change from the time you were in Fu Jen University and after you arrived in Prague?
I always maintained that my real photography started in Prague. When I was in Fu Jen University, I shot for other people’s adoration and not for myself. I recalled that there was a module called「Basics of Photography」，the lecturer will give some comments on each assignment, I felt that I was shooting in order to get good comments! When I arrived in Prague, no one can teach me about photography. What I learned in Prague is to live life seriously! Your photos are a reflection of your life!
Q8. Do you have any photography projects lined up？
My next project is a story on farmers’ lives (It is actually a work in progress). And my current project of 18 years, to document the life of my daughter, Sonja with 18 photo essays.
Q9. Before we end the interview, can you give some pointers to budding photographers?
The zoom lens on Bo Ai Road are selling like hot cakes, you can shoot anything from afar. If you like to shoot people but take his image from a distance, you won’t know his name and never held his hands. I would like to ask: What do you care about? Are you concerned with the person or the photo? I felt that the most interesting photo is one that records the relationship between you and the subject at that moment, interaction is an important process, regardless if it is a simple eye contact or greeting, and composition, exposure, background elements are not so important to a certain extent!
People often ask me: How do you take this shot? What was the camera used? But why don’t people discuss the content of the image? Because you are the script writer, no one can give you the correct answer, hope you like what I shared！
After the interview, let’s enjoy Simon’s LomoKino short movie：