In our article series, Making a Moment, we’re asking photographers to share one of their favorite photos that they’ve taken. We want to know the story behind the final image and everything that went into making it.
This time we’re talking with Lean Lui, a fine art and fashion photographer from Hong Kong. Lean has had her work displayed in numerous exhibitions and has shot fashion photography for Dior, Vogue, Figaro HK, and VICE Magazine. Last year we featured her wonderful project called Disorder Sensing, and now we welcome her back to talk about one of these stunning abstract images in more detail. Here’s Lean’s story in her own words.
Lean: The culture of Hong Kong is a mix of Chinese and Western influences. Such a background inspired my artistic experimentation project “Disorder Sensing” (2022). I folded the light-sensitive paper into a pinhole camera, repeatedly threw it at the wall, and tossed it in a washing machine for exposure.
The process is done in complete darkness and finally obtains a series of abstract and gorgeous tints on paper. The process echoes my interests in Tao Te Ching, which says, “everything bears Yin and embraces Yang, and rushes into harmony.” After experiencing darkness and light, the photographic paper shows the beauty brought by the balance of Yin and Yang, which is reminiscent of the Taoist philosophy.
When I first saw the result, I felt very thankful and surrendered to the universe. It gave me an image I have never seen or imagined. This is the first test I did and my favorite. I couldn't copy it later even after over 50 tests. I tried both black and white and color light sensitive paper. When I saw the silver material come out like meteors, I was really shocked!
I’m always focused on what we can’t see with our eyes, that’s why we need a camera or a picture. Scientifically, human eyes can only see up to a certain wavelength, or some really reflective objects, but I'm always interested in things that can't be found directly with the eyes. There are always lots of ambiguous emotions in our heart, you can’t really name it but you can definitely feel it. That’s my most interesting working area. Seemingly rational but actually very emotional.
In this series of articles we're asking you to share the story behind your favorite photo. Interested in being featured? Email email@example.com with the subject line - Making a Moment.