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Christy Leung

Invited today

1) 什麼時候開始攝影?

2) Why publish a photography book?

3) Can you introduce your work?

4) What difficulties will you encounter when publishing?

5) How to overcome the above problems?

6) Introduce a photography book you like.

7) 對於想準備出版的攝影師有什麼建議?

I have not studied photography in particular. Photography has always been a part of my life. The first time I came into contact with a camera was when I was 3-4 years old. At that time, I took pictures everywhere with a toy plastic film camera. That's it, taking pictures has become a part of life since childhood. Whether it’s capturing the scenery of a fall trip to elementary school or taking souvenir photos with friends and family, it’s all photography to me. In junior high school, I got to know the social platform Lomography through contact with Holga 135BC. I would sometimes share and submit photos on the platform to participate in competitions, and won my first award when I was 17 years old. At that time, I sent my first photo print to Toronto for exhibition - this experience made me realize that no matter whether I am particularly knowledgeable about photography or not, if strangers admire the photos I took, photography can be regarded as "my thing". . If you're asking me when I started "taking photography seriously," that's probably about that time.

My first published photography book, "Urban Wanderings Busy/Mang/Wang (forgetting to travel)," is actually my photography & writing portfolio. At that time, I planned to quit my job in a large company and switch to art, but I had no relevant work experience or portfolio, so I integrated everything into a book. However, the original intention and concept of making a book have continued to evolve during the process. In the end, this book is not just a physical object used to showcase my work, but a mental journey of sorting out photos and clarifying my thoughts. It can help me deepen my perception of the world and explore at the same time. How to inspire others to reflect together through your works. In the future, I did not officially publish any other books (with ISBNs). Instead, I wanted to present and construct reflective visual narratives in alternative forms/media, so I later made a photography journal "Trash, Leave Me Trash." And a box of photo card collection called "making sense".

"Busy/Confused/Wandering (Forgetting to Travel)" is a collection of film photography and Chinese and English writing - the photos record Hong Kong from 2010 to 2021, and the text content is all excerpts of thesis written during college, or after graduation. An essay written during lunch time in the office. It is a printed matter, a "photography album", a carrier filled with a sense of powerlessness (and delusions of an ideal life), and an experiment in combining pictures and texts. At that time, I was trying to sort out and save my disappearing personal identity and consciousness, hoping to clarify my true pursuit of life. What is this pursuit? Perhaps it is a sense of survival that refuses to be assimilated, a life in which one can die without regrets. But as a wage earner who doesn’t know when he can get off work, a dreamer who actually loves literature and creation but faces numbers and business strategy charts all day long, this is an ideal that is always elusive and elusive.


"Trash Leave Me Trash" is a 16-page photography zine. When you open the zine, there is a photo poster on the back. This zine compiles the garbage I encountered on the street between 2019 and 2021. At that time, I lived near Mong Kok, and I would walk to a nearby gym at around 6 a.m. every morning. Along the way, I passed through uncleaned streets. I could see all kinds of messy shapes and traces of garbage on the streets, and I could feel the tension and rush of the previous night. , or the bitterness of night shift workers not having to eat during the epidemic. Although the garbage seems to be abandoned and will eventually be cleaned up, I see the beauty and resilience they exude: "Although the debris will decay, the garden will eventually be filled with flowers..."


"Making Sense" is not a book, but a "photography collection + a poem". It attempts to record the absurd and ridiculous scenes of the city through a series of seemingly unrelated but vaguely related photos. I thought about presenting these photos in the form of a folded zine, but when I mapped out the theme and order of the photos, I discovered endless possibilities. It seems that any way the photos are placed makes sense. And how to release it to make sense? It depends on personal experience and relationship with the city, such as which motifs evoke important memories and issues, which will guide people on how to arrange the photos to make sense of what happened in reality. Speeches about history and reality should be constructed jointly by everyone, rather than just what one person says. Therefore, I do not want to use a single narrative form to rob readers of their understanding. I want to give readers the right to understand narrative through photo cards that can be freely reorganized, thereby inspiring them to reflect on and construct the common experience of this city.

The advantage of independent publishing is that you don’t need to successfully pitch a work before it can be published, and you don’t need to consider the marketability of the work. You can do whatever you want/experiment. But of course some of the difficulties are doing everything yourself. From editing, typesetting, printing, processing, and racking your brains to study binding/presentation methods-all of these require time, energy, and money to explore. It’s also hard for me to predict how many copies to print. I tried printing too little, and it was almost out of stock on the first day of the book fair. But after printing more, I couldn't sell it, leaving a lot of inventory. Then I had to think about where to consign it, and I had to handle the distribution myself. Pitch to the bookstore , there are some successes but many failures. Some people think that all photography books are the same, so they don’t sell. I am a nobody - to be honest, everything is tiring and discouraged.

First, I have to remember that the original intention of making a photography book is not to sell books (but artists have to make ends meet and make ends meet), and I have my whole life to sell books, so I can’t be impatient. I have tried my best to achieve visibility. Second, the art of estimating print runs depends partly on experience and partly on unexpected luck and opportunities - you must understand: "it be like that..."

In fact, I don’t know many photography books. After all, photography books are not a genre I often come into contact with. But if I were to share one, I think it would be Sleeping by the Mississippi by Alec Soth. I haven’t had the opportunity to come into contact with the physical version (the ones I find in bookstores are usually packaged in a solid way, and I can’t afford photography books that cost HKD2000-3000 for the time being), but I have watched some online courses by Alec Soth, in the video He was explaining the journey of photography, the people and things he encountered during it, the process of editing the pictures into a book, and the different first drafts that were printed. I like the implicitness of the photos in the book and the blank space for the characters’ stories. The layout of the photos also metaphors the indescribable ambiguous relationship. I hope that in the future I can create this kind of work that can evoke deep feelings in readers without saying too much.

The response and criticism it receives upon publication are beyond our control. There will be many people giving you various opinions - "This photo/narration is too redundant", "Why is it arranged like this? It's very monotonous" and so on, but remember that you have to have your own voice and stance, no one is better than you. Be clear about what you want to do. Don’t expect everyone to understand your work, but don’t become too obsessed/stubborn with your own ideas in the name of “artist”/“photographer”. After all, a photography book is a medium of communication and should not be too self-centered.


Christy Leung loves roaming alone in the city. Through daily observation and sensory cognition, and through the process of assembling pictures, texts and sounds, she tries to sort out, reflect on and save the gradually dissipating personal consciousness, thereby exploring the possibility of survival in this city.

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