Evocative and Nostalgic Photography of Lee Chang Ming

Lee Chang Ming is a passionate life-logger and he shoots every ‘extraordinarily’ mundane and interesting thing he comes across. This young Singapore-based photographer is also active in curating and promoting impressive work of noted and noteworthy artists and photographers though his famous Tumblog ‘Nope Fun’ which contains more than 400 features and interviews. His photographic work is retro-style, evocative, and nostalgic. Here we have an ensemble of his old and latest work with his to-the-point replies to our questions:

Please tell us about yourself:

I was born and raised in Singapore and love eating chocolate.

lee chang ming photography (1)How did you get into the world of photography? Did you always want to become a photographer?

I’m not sure what the “world of photography” encompasses and I think everyone with a camera can be a photographer. How seriously you take it or think about it is another matter, so I think it a question of definitions. Having said that, photography is an area that I’ve been continually interested in as a medium and feel personally invested.

lee chang ming photography (2)Do you have an artist statement as a photographer? Does a photographer need such a statement?

I don’t think there is anything to understand (conceptually) in my photos, even though I do like to think about the act and process of photography in general. If the photographer considers him/herself to be an artist and thinks that an artist statement is relevant to his/her work, then by all means go ahead. It’s always nice to have some context if the final product itself doesn’t show that.

lee chang ming photography (3)You’re active in various kinds of photography, which one of them do you like most?

I like many kinds of photography, but I personally don’t like food photography because it just makes me hungry.

Tell us about your method of shooting outside?

If something intrigues me and/or the lighting feels right, I’ll take a picture of it. I tend to be spontaneous and prefer natural lighting whenever possible.

lee chang ming photography (4)Tell us about the equipment (camera and lenses) you mostly use. What is your workflow like and what are your views on editing and digital manipulation?

I mainly use a Contax T2 and a Nikon FM2 for personal work and a D750 for other projects. I think editing is all part of the process of photography, but of course the question is: to what extent, which depends on lots of factors. For example if it is for photojournalism (which has it’s own set of ethics) or if it or an advertisement or for exhibiting in a gallery etc.

lee chang ming photography (5)You’re also running a pretty interesting Tumblr site (Nope Fun). Why this title? How do you decide which artists to feature?

Thanks! It was the song I was listening to at the time when I started the website, no particular meaning behind it. I guess I’m spontaneous like that. I started out by featuring artist that inspired me and then it grew from there. There isn’t a particular criteria for selecting the artist, but it’s just what appeals or seems exciting to me at the time.

lee chang ming photography (6)What do you think about contemporary photography? I know it’s a very broad field but we can see where it’s heading to. What do you think?

I’m not qualified to answer such a question, but I’d definitely watch out for photographers from Asia (China, India, Taiwan, Singapore etc.). I like how photography as a visual medium can cross language barriers to communicate ideas, which makes it pretty exciting to me.

lee chang ming photography (7)Tell us about your achievements, awards, clients, any publications, etc.

I don’t know much about public affirmation, but I do know what I like and what I like in my work. I self-published my zine last year and have a couple of other future ones planned together with Total Purpose Press.

lee chang ming photography (8)What are your future plans/projects, ambitions, inspirations etc.?

I’m particularly interested in publishing in its various forms, so hopefully I can publish new projects and work with other photographers and artists. No solid plans so far, but I’m always open to new ideas and collaborations.

lee chang ming photography (9)Please share your favorite stuff: photographers, quotes, films, music etc.

My favourite photographers include Nguan, Stefano Marchionini, Lukasz Wierzbowski and more recently Quentin de Briey.

I haven’t watched many films lately, but some favourites include those by Michel Gondry, Gregg Aaraki, Harmony Korine, Wong Kar-Wai. Been listening to Sean Nicholas Savage lately.

Something to say to our readers or aspiring photographers:

Have fun!

lee chang ming photography (10) lee chang ming photography (11) lee chang ming photography (12) lee chang ming photography (13) lee chang ming photography (14) lee chang ming photography (15) lee chang ming photography (16) lee chang ming photography (17) lee chang ming photography (19) lee chang ming photography (20)All photos © Lee Chang Ming : Website | Portfolio | Flickr | Instagram

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.