HK Magazine - - CULTURE -

HK Mag­a­zine: How did you get into pho­tog­ra­phy? Laurent Dequick: I was 12 when I found an old 6x6 camera and a pho­tog­ra­phy book in my par­ents’ attic. Since then, I’ve never stopped tak­ing pho­tos. For me, dig­i­tal was a real rev­e­la­tion! No more neg­a­tives; no more hours spent in the dark­room. I started or­ga­niz­ing small ex­hi­bi­tions. Sell­ing my pho­tos al­lowed me to fi­nance my equip­ment, travel and have more ex­hi­bi­tions. I de­cided in 2012 to quit my 3D com­puter graph­ics busi­ness to work as a pho­tog­ra­pher.

HK: Who were your main in­flu­ences grow­ing up?

LD: I’m very in­ter­ested in Cu­bism, es­pe­cially in the work of Mar­cel Duchamp and his paint­ing “Nude Descend­ing a Stair­case.” Cu­bism de­scribes a scene, an ob­ject, by frag­ment­ing it, to get a global vi­sion in two di­men­sions. Duchamp painted the same model six or seven times in dif­fer­ent po­si­tions, and the re­sult was not just a de­pic­tion of the model, but also of time pass­ing. This is some­thing I re­spect and re­pro­duce in my cre­ations: I de­scribe pass­ing time in one place.

HK: What in­spires you about ur­ban land­scapes?

LD: Ev­ery city stim­u­lates me. I let my­self be sur­prised by the traces of the past, the struc­ture, ar­chi­tec­ture and mon­u­ments, the char­ac­ter­is­tics of con­tem­po­rary city: signs, sig­nage, ad­ver­tise­ments.

HK: What do you think about Hong Kong?

LD: I will al­ways re­mem­ber the first time I went out of the sub­way on Nathan Road. I had this im­pres­sion of en­ter­ing a hive; I was cap­ti­vated by the en­ergy that emerged from the swarm of th­ese in­di­vid­u­als, the den­sity of traf­fic, the bright­ness and quan­tity of signs… I fell in love in­stantly. HK: What do you look for when you shoot?

LD: I al­ways look for the at­mos­phere and the speci­fici­ties of a city. I try as much as pos­si­ble to get eas­ily rec­og­niz­able el­e­ments in my com­po­si­tions. I try to cap­ture a feel­ing, this sen­sa­tion of frenzy in each city. Over­lay­ing im­ages al­lows me to reach this sen­sa­tion.

HK: What do you do when you first land in a new place? LD: I’m al­ways ex­cited to shoot new cities—I al­ways start with the most fa­mous spots, which are easy to plan from home. Once I be­gin to sit­u­ate my­self, or fig­ure out what I want to highlight, I seek my own spots. I re­turn to some cities reg­u­larly to pho­to­graph them, like Paris or Venice. Un­for­tu­nately,

Hong Kong is too far from home for me to come back of­ten. See Laurent Dequick’s im­ages of Hong Kong at Yel­lowKorner, as part of their “Ver­ti­cal­ity” ex­hibit, through Sep 13 at both PMQ (S101, 1/F, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St., Cen­tral) and

Cen­tral (58 Hol­ly­wood Rd., Cen­tral) lo­ca­tions.

Laurent Dequick spends half the year trav­el­ing the world shoot­ing im­ages. His ur­ban land­scapes are fre­netic, with sev­eral im­ages laid on top of each other to give a mul­ti­di­men­sional at­mos­phere. Ahead of an ex­hi­bi­tion of his pho­tos of Hong Kong, he tells Jes­sica Wei about his work and in­spi­ra­tions.

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