Benjamin Hung – Neo Tokyo through his lens

At GTS we believe in working with talented people from all around the world. No limit to age / gender / orientation – we aim to achieve and collect creatives to channel our vision. We will achieve this through two different ways one being the Artist Residency in GTS studio and the other through collaborative projects. Through the eye and touch of different creatives coming together we aim to create a beautiful harmonic hub.

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.

Benjaming-Hung

What does your daily routine look like?

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.

Benjaming-Hung

Where do you look to for inspiration?

Internet and nature. I’m obsessed with flowers and futuristic anime aesthetics.

Benjaming-Hung

What kinds of inspiration do you draw from Tokyo and Australia where you grew up?

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.

Benjaming-Hung

How are the two countries different?

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.

Any advice you can give to other aspiring artists?

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.

Benjaming-Hung

Benjaming-Hung

Who do you think of as the prime audience for your art?

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?

Benjaming-Hung

Benjaming-Hung

My Myer Briggs personality test describes myself as a person that “sees the world through rose colored glasses”. Something so normal and basic to one person, can be visually stimulating from my perspective. Often I hear how mundane the city can be, repetitive, artificial and man made. Nature is God’s work, but I truly believe that what we have made with our own hands is beautiful in it’s own artificial light. Often I pick locations that people just walk past everyday and somehow show the beautiful through it.

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.

Benjaming-Hung

Do you prefer taking photos of people or location? and why?

People. If you merge a group of creative people together you can make some magic.

Thank you Ben for the conversation.

Website
www.benjamin-hung.com

Instagram
www.instagram.com/benjamin_hung/

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