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Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. (Aldous Huxley)

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By Cathy

Jimmy Luk

On 06, May 2012 | No Comments | In | By Cathy

Ever since I was a child, I have known that the purpose of my life is to create images. My passion for visual arts and photography started when my father bought me a new camera as a birthday gift at the age of 12. Without any prior knowledge of photography, but full of dreams and ambitions, I eagerly took some pictures of trees and water in a park near my home. Later, my father took me to develop the film, which turned out to be a disappointing 36 photos of junk. I still remember what my father said to me after he saw the photographs, he said: “Photography is a total waste of money”. This did not impede my resolve however, and from that moment on I vowed to master the craft of photography. This is how I started my way to become a professional photographer.

Like many others, I started self-taught from reading a lot of photography books and magazines from the library, and I began my formal photography lessons in high school. When I made my first black and white print in a darkroom, my fascination with visual imagery remained steadfast. I set up my own darkroom in the basement of my home, and at the same time I refined my skills with the Master Salon Photographer, Robert Cheng. This was followed by mastering my studio skills with Taiwanese commercial photographer David. I continued to pursue my interest in photography at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Canada, and graduated with a B. F. A. major in Photography. After graduation, I embarked on a journey to Toronto and then to New York. In 2002, I decided to come back to Hong Kong where I have been working full-time as a photographer for a prestigious lifestyle magazine; my works have been exhibited and published worldwide. Major awards including “HKMA Best Annual Report Award – CLP Annual Report 2003″ and “Photo of the Year 2011 – The 5th Hong Kong Photo Competition 2011.”

I think it is important for every photographer not to just copy and imitate others. Every photographer should create his/her own style. To me, a camera is no different than a pencil or a paint brush, is just a tool to express ones’ feelings. I work with all kinds of cameras, from a cheap toy camera, a matchbox pinhole camera to a DSLR, medium format or a 4×5 camera, it doesn’t need to be expensive nor anything fancy. Every camera has its own uniqueness, what excites me in photography is how I feel when I am holding the camera. What I am aiming for is what I see and what I feel. I am not interested in the world as it is, nor am I interested in what the camera can capture and printed on a piece of paper.

I have strong interest in impressionism, minimalism and surrealism. Photographers like Man Ray and Gilbert & George have influenced my work a lot. My belief in Kadampa Buddhism has also had a profound impact on the way I view life and art. I enjoy minimalistic images, like the movement of water or the structure of a plant, somehow very surrealistic atmosphere and mood. I am interested in what I feel. Once I have visualized an image that I had in my mind and I will try to convey it to the world. I think that’s art, my kind of art, it’s just simple as that!