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Paul Yeung
 

Invited today

1) When did you start photography?

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) Any advice for photographers who want to prepare for publication?

I have a bad memory, but I think I was in middle school. My teacher lent me a Minolta camera, and I started learning photography.

I have loved reading and buying books since I was a child. Of course, I bought many more books than I finished reading (ha). Reading can absorb knowledge and enter another world. It is a good entertainment for introverts and people who don’t like to talk. I didn’t come into contact with photography books more until I started working, and I was especially interested in photography books with special themes or inspirations.

 

Personally, if I want to show my work, I prefer photography books to exhibitions. The biggest reason is that books can be preserved and circulated for a longer period of time, and they are physical and can be varied in design and creation. It feels more secure.

The first book "Yes Madam, Sorry Ah Sir":

I have been photographing police officers since 2009. I am curious about what police officers do when they are on duty. Until 2014, when the Umbrella Movement was over, I felt that I had almost finished filming this subject, and I wanted to summarize it. Aling, the founder of brownie publishing house, happened to ask me if I was interested in publishing a photo album, so I said that I would rather publish a police photo album. So we hit it off immediately, and we started cooperating and planning. Finally, the photo album was published at the end of 2016. The process was conceived It took almost two years to publish.

The photo album is divided into two parts. The main part of the first part is full of color images, which record the daily life of police officers on duty in public places from my perspective. The second part is a small book, which is full of text, including articles written by several photography critics, as well as brief descriptions of my works.

The designer of the photo album is Taiwanese designer Xu Ruishen. He put a lot of meticulous and humorous ideas into the design of the book to match the overall style of the photos. On the other hand, I spent a lot of time on the layout of the photos, hoping to increase the reading level of the content. Later, I continued to take new photos in response to the development of the situation, and added some layouts that reflected the times and my own thoughts.

 

Second book:

The second personal photo album is actually a photozine called "We fxxking love photography". It was published in 2021. Only 15 copies were printed. It was a digital printing and trial nature. The origin is that I was invited by designer Benny Au to participate in an exhibition "Here is Zine #20" that spanned four places. So I selected one of my many short photography sketches, typed and designed it myself, and printed it into this photography journal.

The photos were all taken at the Hong Kong Flower Show, targeting photographers who were taking pictures of models and flowers. Their fanaticism and enthusiasm are admirable, their behavior is also outstanding, and their equipment and clothing are also diverse, which attracts my attention more than the models.

 

The third book:

In addition to my personal photography collection, I have also participated in the publication of several independent photography magazines or fanzines, including "Inconsistent with XX", "Sparrow" and the recently still published "Tiger Leopard Mary". These publications are the result of the efforts of different photography friends. Everyone does it with passion. They think of their own topics and pay for themselves. There is no pressure, a lot of freedom, no big ambitions or goals, and a strong sense of experimentation. I can share my thoughts through photography. I really enjoy this process of free creation and collective production.

Problem 1) Funding. Funding and resources are always the most basic issues. When I was making "Yes Madam, Sorry Ah Sir", I first applied for funding from the Arts Development Council, but was not approved. After that, I tried to raise funds through crowdfunding. Fortunately, I got the support of many friends and the fund-raising exceeded the target, so I could officially launch it.

 

Problem 2) Can’t find a suitable local printing factory. At that time, one printing factory quoted too high a price and the other did not want to print. In addition, the publishing house wanted to explore the possibility of printing in Taiwan. As a result, we printed in a Taiwan printing factory, found Taiwanese designers to design, and then shipped the books back by sea. Come to Hong Kong. The process was quite complicated because I had to go back and forth via email, and I was unable to go to Taiwan to see the printing in person at the time, so I relied heavily on the professionalism of the designer.

 

Problem 3) Editing and phasing. On the creative level, editing and arranging photos is a very difficult part. For example, the filming of "Yes Madam, Sorry Ah Sir" lasted nearly 8 years. There must have been thousands of photos taken, and hundreds of photos were initially screened. In the end, only 103 photos were selected and sorted. The order of the photos is very important to the narrative, and because there are so many photos, I will separate them into 3 to 4 small hidden narratives (similar to Chapters) to arrange them. Only I I realized that this is relatively easy. I sometimes do phase selection and phase arrangement at the same time. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I choose a good phase, but also depends on the correlation and collision between the front, back, left, and right of the photo. Like most photographers, I will print out 4R photos to help with photo selection, and I will also ask friends and editors for their opinions. However, for the time being, I still believe that photo selection should be done by myself, and I should make the final decision, rather than relying on artificial intelligence. For people, after all, it is their own creation.

The answer is as above.

In recent years, I have become less interested in images in photo albums. I am more interested in the culture and stories behind the photos, especially some topics that interest me, such as soul photos, UFO photos, death photos, the Holocaust, the Nazi period, totalitarian countries, etc. . I especially like a photo book called "How to look natural in photos". This book shows hundreds of archival photos taken by the secret police during the communist regime in Poland after World War II. It is composed by photographers and curators. It was researched and compiled by Beata Bartecka and Lukasz Rusznica, and finally compiled into a book, with historian Thomasz Stempowski writing an article analyzing the operations of the secret police and the ins and outs of the photos.

The historical information and articles themselves are already very rich and interesting. However, if you look at the photos alone as if you were appreciating a photo album, they seem to be just a bunch of ordinary and poorly photographed everyday images. However, the overall feeling is still dark, violent, hidden, depressive and unpleasant. But if we know that the photos were taken by the secret police but do not know the details behind individual images, the meaning of some photos becomes quite ambiguous and bizarre. I just love the ambiguity and darkness.

Accumulate images slowly, don’t be impatient, pursue what you like, be loyal to yourself, find a suitable designer, and make a lasting impression in your life.

photographer 

About

Deming Yang is a freelance photographer, educator and curator. He graduated with an MA in Imaging and Communication (Photography) from Goldsmiths College, London. After graduating from CUHK, Mr. Yang worked as a photojournalist and photo editor, and has won numerous photography awards in the past 20 years. Mr. Yang held his first solo exhibition "The Flower Show" in 2012. In 2017, his first photo book "Yes Madam, Sorry Ah Sir" was published. His works and photo albums have been exhibited overseas in London, New York, Canada, Argentina, Switzerland, etc. as well as Cambodia, Singapore and China. His favorite works include "Advertising Boards Are Nothing", "The Good Times of 1989", "No Paint No Games", etc. The works are collected by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library and private collector Paul Yeung.

Freelance photographer, part-time university lecturer and curator. Graduated with a Master's degree in "Image and Communication" from Goldsmiths College, University of London. He once worked as a magazine photo editor and photojournalist, and has won multiple award-winning photography. In 2012, he held his first personal photography exhibition "Flowers Are Not Flowers". In 2017, he published his first photo album "Yes Madam, I'm Sorry Sir". Key photographic works include "Billboard without Advertising", "The Scenery of 1989 is So Beautiful", "No Paint No Games" and other works have been exhibited internationally and are collected by the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library and private collections.

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