Interviews | August 22, 2022 |

Chun Chun Liu 001
Image courtesy of Chun Chun Liu

Interview: Chun Chun Liu
Luca Curci talks with Chun Chun Liu, the WINNER of PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE MONTH – JULY 2022.

Born in Taitung, Taiwan, 1965. As a commercial photographer in 1984, Liu initially shot for low cost exported magazines, later customized catalogues for design corporations, finally working all the way up to 4A advertisement nowadays. Through Greenwindow Photo Studio, established in 1997, Liu works with advertising agencies and specializes in photographing celebrity endorsements and products. Within more than thirty-year-long experience in photography industry, Liu, honored with several print advertising awards in Taiwan and overseas, has completed many well-known advertisement projects. In the advertisement photography for decades, Liu has been devoted to perfecting projects about commodity advertisement or celebrity endorsements, which has been his goal. However, around 2014, an idea came to Liu repeatedly: “It seemed that I had not created something of my own for years, even works that I could take pride in. Indeed, nothing.” From then on, Liu came up with the idea of creating work. Before his creation, Liu took some courses regarding art. By reading texts on the art history, Liu managed to figure out his own style at the same time. In retrospect and reflections on Liu’s photography career, he came to realize that he needs to find a balance among opposite perspectives first, getting shooting done later. Thus, the creation project Yuanmao in Chinese came out with a series of works. Certainly, Liu dedicates himself as well as what he has learned to art creation, a plan for the rest of his life.

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Image courtesy of Chun Chun Liu

Luca Curci – How did you get into photography? Do you remember why you took your first professional photo?
Chun Chun Liu –
When I was young, I worked in a furniture factory. By helping moving furniture to the studio booth for shooting the catalogue, I was immediately attracted by the atmosphere of the studio, in that moment, I decided to become a photographer, which was nearly 40 years ago. Nowadays, in Taiwan’s commercial photography industry, I should be considered to have handed over a good transcript. Around 2014, I was very satisfied with the current situation and suddenly asked myself a question: I have shot so many well-known commercials, as well as Taiwan’s first-line artists, so far, was there any work that was accomplished by myself or I am really proud with? After a deep thought, there weren’t even one! Because commercial photography cannot be produced independently, it is done by the entire team! That’s why I came up with the idea of creating my own works. So I begin to learn art history, and set a topic for my art works. In 2016, I took the whole family to Iceland and started my first art work “Yuanmao” (Chinese phrase for original appearance).

Chun Chun Liu 002
Image courtesy of Chun Chun Liu

LC – According to you, what makes a good photo? Which details do you focus on?
When we are deep exploring an image, there will be a strong reflection in our heart. For example, the originally irritable heart will suddenly become calm, or the ordinary heart will suddenly become turbulent, and even goosebumps will appear all over the body! I believe this is a good image for yourself! By my professional as a photographer, I still care about the beauty and quality of the image itself, which is the most basic, but more importantly, how this image carries the artist’s thoughts!

LC – When you take photos, are you usually inspired by the situation or do you find inspiration in yourself?
When I decided to start my art creation, the main topic of my art work has already been set and following creations would be carried on this main topic “Yuanmao”. Just relying on past life experience and inspiration, I felt very limited. In order to find a more suitable creative topic, it need to constantly experience and try new things with my heart.

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Image courtesy of Chun Chun Liu

LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
More than 30 years of my commercial photography career, I have often encountered various opposing viewpoints. For example, in an advertising case, I pointed out how the lighting to be used would perform a better result, but the customers have other insistence thought, the sales only cares about the budget and the performing artists thinks the pose is not suit for them. Customer only wants their product to be as clear as possible! (Actually they didn’t talk about that very seriously yet a little bit jokingly) So once I decide to create my art work, to discuss “angle and perspective” became the main topic of my creation!

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Image courtesy of Chun Chun Liu

LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
In life, we often come with many opinions, thoughts and ways on something. Some share the same perspective while others are truly different. In fact, the perspectives are like views in the viewfinder. They are narrow, but unique, in comparison with one another, even you consider yours all-embracing. Meanwhile, due to my career, I was really lucky to say I have a solid foundation on photography. I am not emphasizing that I got skills but based on this solid foundation therefor I got broader creative space. In family, school, workplace, race, society, city to city, country to country, we often encounter different viewpoints in our life. Although we look at the same thing, but still would create opposing based on different positions and backgrounds. If we can look at things from each other’s viewpoint, I believe the world will be even more different.

LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
The first comes to my mind is satisfied. But the process would make me more excited, I enjoy the process, further more I even learn another new skill for my art work, such as 3D virtual computing, underwater photography etc. I am happy to complete this creation, and I am even more excited to prepare for the next journey. The techniques tempered from the commercial photography industry will be sequentially applied to my artistic creation. Now I am writing my personal photography history.

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Image courtesy of Chun Chun Liu

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