Lomographer Renata Duan is passionate Lomographer and artist who pursues her craft no matter where it takes her. She combines her love for photography and painting into an intriguing project. Get to know her and get a glimpse of her lomographs turned paintings in this interview.
Name: Renata Duan
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Please tell us something about yourself and what you do.
Hi! I’m Renata from mainland China. I lived for 11 years in Beijing, studying Portuguese in college and working as a translator in a military trade company after graduation. Now I’m doing a postgraduate study in Visual Arts (Painting) in New Zealand. What I intend to do for my project is closely related to Lomography: I’ll paint my own Lomo photos! All my lomographs will be the source and inspiration of my paintings. If you happen to be in New Zealand in the middle of July 2018, you’re warmly welcome to see my graduation exhibition here at Dunedin School of Art!
How did you find the Community and who/what convinced you to join?
Nobody but Mr. Google. In fact, I found and registered in lomography.com right after I had purchased my first LOMO camera – Diana+ in 2009. Since they were a total disaster, I didn’t feel any impulse to upload my photos. Two months ago, I happened to notice the competitions for celebrating the 25 years of Lomography, and since I have been to many countries and have accumulated a large number of photos during these 8 years (among which two thirds are still a disaster), I joined the Community and uploaded the less terrifying one third. : P
As you have read the 10 Golden Rules of Lomography, what rule do you apply in your everyday life?
I think it’s RULE #10 Don’t worry about any rules. I don’t take my camera everywhere I go (#1), at least not to the bathroom. I use it more during the day than at night (#2). I’ve never tried the shot from the hip (#4). I’m afraid of approaching the objects of my Lomographic desire as close as possible (#5) because I’m scared that some people might hit me or tell me off or grab my camera and destroy my film. I definitely think (#6), and maybe think too much. I can’t do anything fast (#7). I always want to know beforehand what I captured on film (#8), and I’m also eager to know afterwards (#9). After all that, sometimes I end up worrying about not following the 10 Golden Rules (#10).
In this digital age, why still film?
Because it sets me free of the dull routine. Analog always offers surprises, no matter how familiar you are with the cameras and films. All you need to do is to embrace the unknown and accept whatever comes out in the end. Even though my personality kind of forces me to make everything in an orderly and controlled manner, the uncertainty Lomography brings may be a good way to stop me going to an extreme. Besides, to finally get the images, analog requires time and effort, which are two of the most precious things in this fast-moving world. Fortunately, all the time and effort rarely go unawarded.
Your favorite analog camera as of the moment? Why?
Absolutely the LOMO LC-A+. It’s a serious answer given by years of personal experiments of four LOMO cameras. The first LOMO camera I bought was a Diana+ (not even an F+), which was difficult for me to use because of the extremely light weight and my shaky hand as a newbie. My first roll of film was horrible, and there’s only one out of twelve pictures that was “not bad” and convinced me not to give up on analog.
And I gave up…on Diana+. I bought a Holga GCFN a few months later, and then a Fuji instant camera just for fun. Until three years ago, when I accidentally bought an LC-A+, an amazing combination of all advantages and removal of the flaws or inconveniences of the other cameras I had, that I found the real pleasure of Lomography, and a LC-A+ Splitzer added even more fun and joy!
What is the Lomography camera you’d want to have someday?
A Sprocket Rocket! In fact, it’s already on the way! I purchased a second-hand one after seeing @FRENCHYFYL’s dazzling lomographs taken with a Sprocket Rocket. The sprocket holes combined with a panoramic wide angle are so special and eye-catching.
Any song, book, or movie you live by?
W. Somerset Maugham’s novel The Moon and Sixpence, a story loosely based on the life of Paul Gaugin. The protagonist – a well-off, middle-class stockbroker in London – leaves his wife and children to go to Paris to pursue painting, all of a sudden. I started to paint two years ago at the age of 29 without any proper training before that and I also followed a passionate impulse and unquenchable desire that convinced me to quit my stable job and now took me across seas. I’m not sure how far I can go, but as I felt the calling, I should just give it a try and go with the flow.
Share your current favorite Lomograph, could be yours or a friend’s. Why?
Choosing is the biggest enemy of my life. I don’t have a favorite Lomograph, I like many of them.
This one can be counted. I even made a painting from it and I’m going to name it China<1984>. Now you see why I like it:
Any Community member you look up to? If so, why him or her?
I once commented @montagu’s photographs that they are another level of awesomeness, and I do mean it.
What are you looking forward to in our Community?
I’d like to learn and get inspired more by appreciating others’ fascinating works. It’s sheer bliss browsing through those amazing photographs. In addition, it’s a warm and friendly community, I’m truly grateful for all the encouragements I’ve got here.
Thank you Renata for sharing your thoughts with us! Welcome to the Lomography Community and we're looking forward to seeing more of your work!