Insta Fav #74: Lu Gen
- Caroline Kurze
Our Insta Fav #74 is Lu Gen (a.k.a 尿姑娘) who is living and working as a freelance photographer in Chongqing, China. He captures the beauty of his hometown and its inhabitants in raw and unposed images, taking snaps in long alleyways, in front of cluttered storefronts or in hidden corners. Lu Gen is introducing us to a world that seems so different from ours, taking a unique perspective that only a native resident could capture. You can find more of his works in his VSCO Grid and get to know him in the following Q&A. Enjoy.
Where are you from? How does that place influence the way you photograph?
Hello everyone. My name is Lu Gen (a.k.a 尿姑娘), I am from Chongqing, China, and I am a freelance photographer. It is not easy being a freelance photographer in China because, photographer in China is not well accepted as a serious profession.
What are your favorite environments to shoot in?
I had a great support from my family. My father and grandfather were both photographers, which influenced me from an early age on.
My style combines traditional and modern perspectives, the traditional part, of course, is from my family, and the modern part, is from myself.
My style is a little different than most of the western artists. Most western artists always trying to pursuing the complicated techniques such as structure, lighting, and composition etc. Instead, I tried to let my pictures have a story– a soul, or an emotion, which leads the resonance to the audience to share the same feeling that I am trying to present. Of course I also added the professional techniques that I mentioned above to make my work don’t lack a contemporary style. However this style is very deviant in China, but I think it is also unique, which makes it special.
What are the strengths of shooting primarily mobile? How does this affect your imagery?
To take photos for stranger is what I am good at that I like to catch the unique moment of strangers’ true emotions.
Mobile photography help strangers feel more comfortable. If I use a professional DSLR to take photos for strangers, they must be nervous I bet. But a cell phone is different. It is very common, and easier to sneak around for special purposes. Sometimes it does take time to allow a good moment to happen.
Sometimes I will make friends with them, whatever I can do to make them feel comfortable then everything will be easier. But the most important is that, if you have the right attitude, and you know what you want, then nothing is impossible and you will eventually get what you are looking for.
Who and what are the things that inspire you?
I was an art student in high school. When I got into collage, duo to my father’s influence, I became a photographic intern for a local newspaper channel. That was where I discovered that I was actually pretty good at photographing, and the more important thing is that I also have found a goal for my life.
I grew up in Chongqing, China. Comparing the city to big cities like Beijing or Hong Kong, Chongqing is not as nearly as developed but because the fast growing speed which the city has, makes me think it represents the life style of all inland Chinese population.
From my observation, most inland Chinese people are very vanity, they like surface fantasy, which leads to an ignorance at the deep inside of them. Lack of Self-education, blindly learning anything from the western world makes them lose themselves and forget their own culture. They became confused and questioning their own identifications.
When I take pictures of people, I like to focus on the group of people who’s not that rich, not any more special than others, but a group of people that’s happy and enjoy their own world. So I decided to take pictures and create art works for them, focus on their life style and stories. I think their stories touches my heart more than anything else, and the same time, in some way, makes me less shallow.
Many many…so, I cant tell u one of them. Sorry! Haha.
Tell us a little about your everyday.
In China I must work hard to make money. Though I still try to find the time for my photography. The more money I make, the more I can work on my pictures. If there is a chance, I think I will try to go abroad, such as Germany, ha ha.