Returning Amigo Clare Chong is one of the early testers of the Neptune Convertible Art Lens. For this shoot, Clare goes random and uses popping colors to produce yet another batch of dreamy images.
Please tell us more about your journey as a photographer.
I really don’t call myself a photographer, I’m not that fluent with camera language and sometimes I can mix up very basic camera knowledge. I simply use photography as a means to capture experiences, experiments, and most of these are done in collaboration with people. For example, bringing creatives from different mediums to experiment and create something together, to perform it, and to exhibit. It is through photography and videography that I capture these moments. sometimes they turn out really nice, sometimes they really suck, so I really leave everything up to chance. A lot of my work deals with letting things be completely up to chance. I am a person that really likes control, so this is a massive challenge for me when I tell myself and my collaborators that I have absolutely no idea what will happen.
Regarding ‘skills’, I think I have a pretty good eye, but I don’t think I’m that skillful when it comes to technique. I go a lot with feeling and intuition, so if I think this certain lens, angle, lighting and pose works, I go for it. Perhaps by just being so free and limitless, it allows my photos to have a more identifiable ‘Clare’ trait, at least that’s what my friends say.
What/Who are the major influences in your work?
In terms of photography, I am very influenced by Ren Hang (everyone is), and a lot of my influences come from paintings; Dali for his surrealism, Egon Schiele for the way he portrays women, Kusama for her prints and colors, Edward Hopper for his perception on light. I am also very influenced by filmmakers such as Luis Bunuel, Alejandro Jodorowsky, David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Jim Jarmusch, and Tsai Ming Liang. Video art is also a big influence on me, such as the works of Matthew Barney and Ho Tzu Nyen.
What is your philosophy as a photographer/filmmaker?
I believe in using intuition. I make a lot of decisions in 5 seconds, as I feel that is the purest form of reacting and respecting my own true feelings. In filmmaking and photography, I try to implement that as well. A lot of these ‘experiments’ that I do requires me to react to the surrounding, to the people, and let my collaborators take control instead of having me direct everything. The reason why I try to make films and photographs this way is because when I do narrative and commercial work, every single detail is highly controlled and curated, I want an outlet where me and my collaborators can be completely free.
Please tell us more about the concept of your shoot with the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System.
The title of this shoot is called ‘ANYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING EVERYTHING’ (AEEE for short).
The concept is as the title says. ‘Anything everything, everything, everything’. This is a bi - monthly event where my company Hei Studio brings creatives together to create anything and everything. Each event will focus on a different medium, different concept, and different initiative, bringing all sorts of creatives together to experiment, have fun, and create anything.
For this event, each individual will use the mood board as a reference and then bring something fresh to the table. I got everyone involved to ransack their cupboards, find unwanted/potential art materials, and just bring it on the shoot day itself. Collectively, we’ll make something out of it, whether it is decorating the space, decorating humans, or even the other creatives involved.
What happened during the actual shoot day was that everyone brought at least 1 luggage worth of stuff, we looked through everything and got some people to do makeup, some to style the models, and some to design the backdrop. We also brought a sound designer to record samples during the whole shoot, and he created a music track live while we were shooting. Everyone was bouncing ideas off each other, and it was a wonderful and very therapeutic experience to be able to do anything and everything without any boundaries.
How does the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System fit into your style?
I always liked using 50mm, so I found myself using that a lot during the entire shoot. For some shots, I also grew to like the 35mm as I don’t own one personally, so I am actually considering investing in one in the future. I really like the design of the whole package of lenses, they’re very chic and very convenient to carry around due to their small size too.
Any advice on how to fully utilize the Neptune Convertible Art Lens System?
I definitely think if you’re on the go and don’t have time to bring lots of gear, this works perfectly. Having easy access to all three different lenses also makes it super easy to experiment and see which one works better, and it's great to see how each photo looks different with each lens.