Despird Zhang: 'Real Life Art' and triggering emotions
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by Yvette Depaepe
Des also is a humble warm hearted man. He quotes: ' I would never say that I am an “Artist” of every kind. All I wish is that I could freely inject my life experiences and desires into my creations.”
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, dear Des.
My wife and I relocated to Perth, Australia in 2007, and now I am a proud father of three children, two boys: Eric and Victor and a girl Delphie.
I am a full-time software developer now. Besides my work and photography, I love classical music and literature, Chinese calligraphy, etc.
In 2016 my friend Sarah Shen and I co-founded a local photography club 东八区影像 in Perth. Over the years of transition it has become a large online photography community well-known on multiple platforms including Wechat, Tuchong, etc.
东八区影像 means Images of UTC-8, based on the fact that both China and Perth are located in same time zone UTC-8. We are committed to non-profit international photography cooperation and communication, and to discover aspiring young artists and their works across the globe.
We started introducing articles from 1x magazine intermittently since 2017, making 1X well-known across the whole community.
Translation into Chinese from the
By following the official account id: dxdownflyer in Wechat (a mobile app), you can read all history articles.
We also run contests bi-monthly and our judges include following 1X members (all are my good friends and teachers) :
I paused for a while and was pondering the aesthetic implications of these words, the conclusion is ironic and bitter, I have to be careful with those because once they do not reflect anything that I wanted to express at the particular moment, the result is not very pleasant.
I cannot create a work that is deemed to be satisfying every time. I fail all the time, even today.
I prefer B&W in terms of post-editing and a composition as simple as possible. Sometimes I am too obsessed with lights and shadows, and strong vignettes that have received much criticism. But for me that makes sense because it helps explain the nature of lights: they come from dark and serve for themselves. Eventually they will be devoured by the darkness again, but they will leave indelible marks.
I do believe good photos should not be restricted to locality, as photography is dominated by the perspective of the photographer rather than the contents of objective surroundings. The result depends on the shape of your lens frame and inevitably the image of your mind.
One thing I personally like to do is create multiple PSDs and label (name or version) them in a helpful way. Single PSD is expensive to open and action, while multiple PSDs labelled with steps don’t have this drawback and give you other benefits.
As I observe today there are lots of photographers with science or engineering backgrounds just like myself. This is not unusual because they tend to get obsessed with the gears or fancy post-editing skills. Most of their creations are eye-catching however they are too reproducible to become the target of mass imitations. My suggestion is creating your own photographic signature or language instead of pleasing people or doing something simply because you can. It might be fun at first then it gets boring quickly, and it eventually makes you lost in tastes.
In the digital age, there is no doubt the best teachers are 1X artists! Svetlana Melik-Nubarova, Yvette Depaepe, Larry Deng, Jian Wang, Sol Marrades, Teruhiko Tsuchida, Nobuhiro Ishida, Hengki Lee, Sebastian Kisworo ...and so many more.
Knowledge-wise, I learned a great deal from Svetlana Melik-Nubarova, my great mentor and dear friend! Not only her amazing retouching techniques but also her sophisticated artistic visions.
Regarding the community, in addition to continuing existing online activities, I started planning some offline events last year, but they fail due to the global pandemic. For the moment we’ll just have to wait for things to get back to what they were, meanwhile, I am searching for opportunities to co-host some international dialogues or events with other organisations.
This is a treasure to me, because all members of my family (excluding myself) are in the picture.
As I mentioned, I am a no artist, not even a professional photographer. As a result, bottlenecks occur constantly. Browsing 1x gallery is a perfect alternative to browsing real drawings in art galleries, and even more. It is a bigger repertoire and it is more contemporary and modern.
I have maintained a good relationship with many 1x photographers for many years, and today it is a great honour that my friends and mentors – Yvette and Ralf are offering me the opportunity to be part of the editorial team. This is a great honour and encouragement for me. Apart from that I can no doubt look forward to a closer connection between 8fotos and 1x, and we’ll certainly continue introducing 1X artworks and articles to Chinese readers.
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