First here we have Benjamin Hung, young talented photographer based in Tokyo who is drawn to the beauty of the neon lights of TOKYO.
How did your career as an artist begin?
I found myself staying back late after school working on art projects and just being so comfortable in that environment. I bombed so hard in mathematics and science, but my creative subjects ﬂourished.
It wasn’t a difﬁcult choice so I decided to pursue Photography & Graphic Design in university. I spent most of my time researching other photographers, mucking around in the photo studios and learning new editing techniques. I often assisted many photographs for weddings and commercial shoots in my free time. Assisting was a great way to experience being a photographer without the responsibilities and be taught by someone in the industry.
Life in my small country started to feel claustrophobic, so one day out of sheer boredom I decided to buy a one way ticket to Tokyo.
Coffee, Coffee, Coffee with a side of breakfast. During the day is the best time to focus on editing photographs and also creating mood boards for upcoming shoots.
Usually when it’s close to getting dark, I grab my camera and meet up with a model or a team in Shinjuku. We just have fun, chat, walk around and take some killer shots in Kabukicho area.
After I ﬁnish with a shoot i’m usually mentally exhausted but physically on a high, so I kill some time at the gym. I usually end the night cooking dinner and decompress by watching some Youtube videos.
Internet and nature. I’m obsessed with ﬂowers and futuristic anime aesthetics.
I spent a majority of my life in Australia where the sunshine is endless and the beaches are a place to relax. During the spring, I was hugely inspired by the Jacaranda blossoms in my hometown. They brought pockets of saturated purple in the parks, over people’s houses and along the streets.
Tokyo to me is the balancing contrast of my hometown. Artiﬁcial skyscrapers, neon lights and ﬂocks of people everywhere. The artiﬁcial contrasts are what truly inspires me.
Japan and Australia are almost polarising. Tokyo-wise, you got the blade runner skyscrapers, constant rush of suits and hidden alleyways. Townsville on the other hand, you’re surrounded by dried nature, clear blue days and everyone is a lot more relaxed. I’m blessed to have my two worlds ﬂuidly infuse with each other.
What’s your process like for building your artwork?
The process is always different and it often changes depending on who I collaborate with. I truly believe that is what keeps me creatively thirsty.
All my creativity comes out to play late at night. I consider myself as a caffeinated night owl where I spend my time in my room sketching ideas and creating mood boards for photo shoots. From there I gather a creative team of models, hairstylists, makeup artists and stylists. Often we are shooting on location somewhere in Tokyo or in studio.
After ﬁnishing the shoot, I throw all the photographs onto my computer and begin post production. I spend a majority of my time adjusting the exposures, crunching the saturation and experiment with the color tones. After that it gets sent off to the client, or if it’s personal work I upload it onto my portfolio and instagram.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Copy, deconstruct, merge – making things your own and not duplicating is vital to creative growth. Tap into your emotions – what eats you up? What make you happy? How do you see the world? Experiment with new ideas and techniques, and don’t be afraid to ask. These are things I wish I had told myself earlier.
People who visually feast off color and romanticize about Neo Tokyo.
How do you describe your Photography?
If I could Google Translate my photographs from images to words it would show up as – a picture frame drenched in neon, sensually erotic with a hint of beautiful roses.
What’s the message that you want to convey through your photographs to your audience?
Where is the best place and time for you to take your photographs?
At this point, I’m very passionate about shooting in central Tokyo, often or not you can ﬁnd me following the JR Yamanote Line. Once golden hour passes and the neon lights ﬂickers, that’s my time to shine. I like to shoot after a nice rain shower, where the seedy Kabukicho alley metamorphs into a romantic scenery.