Creators in Conversation

As the Trope community of artists continues to grow, we want to highlight the artists behind the images. Amidst their photographic work, they hold down jobs, tend to loved ones, and have plenty of stories to tell. As this strange and unpredictable year heads towards a close, we were curious about what they’ve been working on, what they’ve accomplished this year, and what is exciting them at the moment.

 

JEREMY CHEUNG – TROPE HONG KONG - @rambler15

It’s been quite a year so far! Can you tell us and our readers a bit about what you’ve been up to and what you’ve been working on (work-wise, achievements this year and/or anything personal)?

Being a freelance photographer is not easy at all in 2020, as the pandemic has shut down or postponed many job opportunities, locally and worldwide. Thankfully things are gradually getting better since summer. Recently, I’ve had some collaborations with Canon in terms of photo selling and social media engagements, as well as shooting for some architectural and interior projects.

For personal projects, I am fortunate to have 3 personal photo exhibitions in 2020, with the current one, IINN SSIITTUU, running until the end of November. My black and white double-exposure film photos – all taken in Hong Kong within the past 3-4 years – are displayed in a local teahouse. I have chosen one picture from the series to share with you all.

What excites you most at the moment?

Lately, I have been collaborating with the Hong Kong International Photo Festival team in co-creating an online showcase which involves input from visual artists, musicians and poets from Hong Kong and Taiwan. We are creating new work every week based on each others’ previous week’s submission. Hopefully we can generate a larger body of work to be shared online at the start of 2021.

Any future projects or ideas that you’re currently exploring?

I’ve been experimenting on various personal photo projects too. The progress of each is in various degrees. One of the works’ which focuses on the Hong Kong-China relationship has received some positive initial feedback. I am still considering the final format for it to be presented. Apart from that, I have been planning (or...dragging on) to make a zine to showcase some of my Hong Kong double exposure film work.

 

SHŌGO MISAWA – TROPE TOKYO - @nbwpic

It’s been quite a year so far! Can you tell us and our readers a bit about what you’ve been up to and what you’ve been working on (work-wise, achievements this year and/or anything personal)?

2020 has been very hard for me. The coronavirus has reduced shooting and other activities, but I did manage to shoot at the request of some clients. In addition to shooting models, I also shot events. And, I’ve been using the time to carry out research to improve my skills. I learned that research and plenty of photography practice is the best way to get good results, especially as I have had more time to dedicate and also with so much technology out there. I learned that again. On a personal level, I design jewelry and graphics. Combined with my photography, I’m able to merge and enhance those values as an overall art form. So, this year even though it’s been difficult, and I've been out and about less, I can say that I've grown by honing my sensibilities and skills.

What excites you most at the moment?

What I'm excited about right now….well, I'm looking forward to shooting new things. There are more and more photographers in this age of social networking. And I think definitely we are influenced by them to raise our overall standards and elevate. This is a great learning experience for photographers.

On top of that, there's a lot of competition in the camera industry today, and there are many good cameras and lens’ on the market. I'm looking forward to choosing the best one for me and making the best of it.

Any future projects or ideas that you’re currently exploring?

This is still an open question. But I'm also designing jewelry at the same time. I'm thinking of combining art, photography and jewelry. I would like to shoot in a combined style: models (people), jewelry, space, etc., and present all of this in the near future. I hope to become globally mobile soon as it is currently difficult to travel abroad. I'm looking forward to enjoying and photographing these art forms.

 

CANDY LAI – TROPE HONG KONG - @flosslai 

It’s been quite a year so far! Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to and what you’ve been working on (work-wise, achievements this year and/or anything personal)?

It's been quite a year indeed! Truthfully, work has been slow, but thankfully steady. I’m a marketer in the luxury sector, and it’s been particularly tough this year for the retail industry. I guess the keyword for most of us is survival, and I’m grateful that things are starting to pick up in Asia. In other news, Varun and I recently got married! While it wasn’t the destination wedding we originally planned, we still had the most special day with our loved ones, celebrating together in person and virtually via Zoom. #loveinthetimeofcorona

What excites you most at the moment?

Having not been able to travel this year, I’ve been enjoying taking the time to explore more of local Hong Kong – exploring new spots and revisiting old ones. The city is still thriving, with constant new coffee shop and restaurant openings, art exhibitions and cultural happenings. Like everyone, I do miss travelling, but just like our wedding, I’d like to make the most the situation we are in. Hong Kong is resilient and on the whole, safety precautions are ensured all around to make it feel very safe.

Any future projects or ideas that you’re exploring?

With everything going on in the world right now, it sure makes it hard to plan for the future. It’s been on our minds for awhile now to look into moving to a new city. We are still exploring this idea, but we are happy to take each day as it comes along. After all, with all the uncertainty and unpredictability, who knows what will even happen tomorrow!

 

VARUN THOTA – TROPE HONG KONG - @vnthota

It’s been quite a year so far! Can you tell us and our readers a bit about what you’ve been up to and what you’ve been working on (work-wise, achievements this year and/or anything personal)?

2020 has not been the best year to say the least, and it’s not over yet. With everything going on in the world, I am grateful to have a job, to have family and friends that are healthy and safe, and to live in a city that is so far doing ok. More recently, I got a promotion (Design Lead for Apps & Notifications - APAC) and an opportunity to lead a team of six designers across three countries. This is my first major leadership role and with six people reporting to me, an organisation that is going through yet another change, and everyone in my company working remotely – I have been absolutely swamped! But I still love what I do. I look forward to learning and becoming a good people-leader and continuing to work on products that improve people’s lives.

Personally, getting married has been the highlight for Candy and me this year. We made it through the planning of that locally, made it through being locked down together, and still had a great time. This year has been a lot about focusing on and being thankful for the little things, to be honest.

What excites you most at the moment?

There are a few things I'm looking forward to, apart from 2020 just ending and 2021 hopefully improving. With Hong Kong now easing restrictions and the weather becoming cooler, I’m ready for weekends filled with hiking and catching up with close friends. Singapore has also started a travel bubble with Hong Kong, and we have two close friends flying in later this year, which ties in nicely with the annual Christmas dinner and get-together hosted by our friends.

Any future projects or ideas that you’re currently exploring?

Not at the moment; I’m so swamped with work and working through change management with my team that I actually don’t want to start any new projects at the moment. Candy and I are looking to move countries and settle down permanently somewhere longer term – but we’ll see how that goes.

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Trope Hong Kong and Tokyo are available here.