Pho­tog­ra­pher UN­TIL CHAN’s port­fo­lio in­cludes nu­mer­ous celebrity and fash­ion shoots for Pres­tige. Now, in this first in­stal­ment in a se­ries of three such photo es­says, he trains his lens on fig­ures from Hong Kong’s artis­tic and cul­tural com­mu­nity

Prestige Hong Kong - - CULTURE -

He came to us with a vi­sion – and hav­ing worked with him since the early days of this mag­a­zine, we’ve learned to trust in Un­til Chan’s vis­ual and pho­to­graphic in­stincts. Sim­ply put, he wanted to shoot a se­ries of por­traits and cor­re­spond­ing videos (check them all out at pres­ti­geon­, fo­cus­ing on the young and the gifted – but with an il­lu­mi­nat­ing theme in mind. “I chose these three par­tic­u­lar folks as I wanted to find young peo­ple who are deeply rooted in tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture and tak­ing part in ac­tiv­i­ties from a by­gone era,” he says. “For most peo­ple to­day, in­clud­ing my­self, most as­pects of tra­di­tional Chi­nese artistry seem to be for the el­derly, by the el­derly. But I wanted to show con­tem­po­rary artists who are do­ing well and car­ry­ing the flag for­ward. I wanted to in­tro­duce read­ers to those who are still in their twen­ties and thir­ties, who have day jobs too, but haven’t for­got­ten their eth­nic roots.” Thus, we have Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy artist Packy Lai, Chi­nese-opera star Keith Lai and erhu in­stru­men­tal­ist Chan Pik-sum cap­tured on film and video. “I wanted to show how they’ve been work­ing hard and how they’re keep­ing fresh these old method­olo­gies,” he says, hav­ing done his own re­search on the in­di­vid­u­als in ques­tion for this en­deav­our. “All three of them started their art in child­hood and main­tained it into adult­hood. They’ve loved their cul­ture from a young age and work from the heart; they love their re­spec­tive arts and they want to find a way to mix some­thing new with the tra­di­tional.” Chan spent sev­eral days with the artists, chat­ting with them about them­selves and how they could col­lab­o­rate on this pas­sion project. Cal­lig­ra­phy artist Packy Lai wanted Chan to do the por­trai­ture in her small stu­dio in PMQ , while Chi­ne­se­opera artist Keith Lai opted for the vi­brant back­stage of an old-fash­ioned tra­di­tional Chi­nese theatre to let peo­ple know more about the step-by-step process of what hap­pens be­hind the scenes. “Fi­nally, with Chan Pik-sum, the erhu mu­si­cian, we wanted to do it out­side with some nat­u­ral el­e­ments. The over­all theme is chun chuan, which roughly trans­lates to ‘in­her­i­tance’. As Hongkongers, we’re con­stantly rac­ing to what’s next, but let’s not for­get what was.”

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