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Jul 22, 2015

A CONVERSATION WITH BOBBY CHANG

THE FINE PRINT: Where does this love for disposable cameras come from? Are there specific ones you enjoy working with?

BOBBY CHANG: I love disposable cameras because of the kind of images they create. They are rough and beautiful at the same time. Another reason I always use them is they fit in my pockets and I can always have one on me. They are very fast when you want to snap something. No need to set aperture and distance etc. I usually use Kodak disposables because they have inbuilt flash, they are very cheap and I have found a way to open them without destroying them.

TFP: What’s your take on coloured photography versus black and white and your preference for the latter?

BC: I like both colour and black and white. But there are reasons why I have more black and white pictures. First of all, black and white has an endless spectrum of shades plus it’s timeless, of course. Also, I’m a very impatient person and with black and white I can immediately develop my roll of film in the darkroom and see what I have shot or play with the exposure and experiment on stuff manually while developing.

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TFP: Does your Asian heritage and Hong Kong life inspire you?

BC: I’m sure Hong Kong somehow has influenced my work. It has surely affected the way I look at buildings or places we go to. Sometimes, in my photos there are Asian elements, too. The city, the harbour, the aura, the architecture, the nature of Hong Kong, all these things have had an influence on me. But the people and their standards have not had an impact on me as an artist.

TFP: Your pictures are very raw and unstaged. What kind of creative process do you go through to attain such results?

BC: Yes, they are not staged! Hahaha! I usually don’t plan to take a picture of a place or a building, I just walk by, I see it and I take a picture. Except if we go to a specific place where I know I will take some pictures there. When I take pictures of my girlfriend Emma, those aren’t staged either. I often take random shots when she is getting dressed or eating, or if she is just in bed. Or I have an idea to dress up and do stupid things and then sometimes we take pictures like this. Many of my pictures of Emma are taken before or after sex when I’m excited and inspired.

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TFP: Your work includes bonded or naked girls, modern architecture, landscaping…. We can conclude there’s not a specific theme to it. How would you define your photography?

BC: I haven’t thought about it, but I think I would describe it as very personal. It’s like some sort of a diary. Places I go to, things I see, Emma, things that mean something to me as a person.

TFP: Are there photographers or artists that inspire you?

BC: Many, but I’m always inspired by different artists and my list always changes. My artist friends, though, always inspire me. We have our own art circle. I also like Rainer Werner Fassbinder a lot.

TFP: Are you currently working on a project or a collaboration you’d like to tell us about?

BC: Right now I’m working on publishing my first book, which is like a zine and diary, it contains photographs, drawings, poems and other stuff. And then I will also publish a series of zines of pictures I take of Emma and our personal moments. I’m working on this idea, I’m developing it now.15936714712_100a30a6f2_orobertchang (7)Pictures are a courtesy of Bobby Chang. 

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