NTU’s 20th annual photo festival Emerge kicks off next month, and Platform’s Photo Editor Callum Baigrie is following the build up to what is turning out to be one of the biggest and best shows yet. Read more about the festival here.
On the run up to the festival, Platform are speaking to some of the photographers exhibiting. We’ll be finding out who is inspiring them, what their projects are about, and what they plan to do after the festival closes. First up is fashion photographer Martin Fu, speaking about his project We Are Not The Same.
What is your degree show project about?
Developing a love for print and the paper-based medium over the course of my three years at university, I decided to create an art zine. Becoming a culmination of my time at university, both as a way of finding myself as a photographer but also as an exploration or further observation of my culture and other East Asian cultures like it.
Whether it was standing in a library, a book shop, or an indie magazine store, I found that there is a lack of representation, something I could relate to or find myself in within the UK as a minority. This is where We Are Not the Same or WANTS stems from, which in essence is a projection of myself as a photographer but also encompassing a cultural representation. Something that East Asian students like myself can relate to both visually and culturally. Becoming a little peek under the surface of an Asian student community and culture that we can identify with if only a little, especially in such a diverse country.
Which photographers/artists are inspiring this body of work?Photographers who inspired my work and technical process throughout my second and third year, as well as over the course of this whole project include Shuhei Shine, a Japanese fashion and still life photographer who makes full use of colours and compositions to draw the eye and entice the viewer. I also cite Alex Finch as an inspiration, a street style photographer based in Seoul, capable of capturing the essence of Korean street fashion and culture in one cleanly cut and stylish image whilst keeping the natural, light feeling of the subject.
What do you plan on doing after you graduate?
As a photographer who primarily works in portraiture and fashion, I’d like to go into the fashion industry. Be it in a studio, as an assistant, for an agency or magazines. I’d love to expand my horizons and truly find myself in both as a creative and a person in such a fast paced and ever changing work environment.