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Interview with a photographer: Dicky Jiang

Monday, 22 December 2008

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All images © Dicky Jiang

We have known Dicky Jiang fow a while now. He takes pictures in his spare time. Probably one of the few people who still take the Hasselblad or Rolleiflex out to the streets of Bandung. We have some of his pictures featured here before and now we decided to interview him.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 36 y/o, a husband, a father, and a screen printer.

What do you do, when not taking pictures?
Developing negs, Flickr-ing. Ha ha, kidding, I run a small screen printing business, and do most of the t-shirt designs, so when not clicking the shutter, I’m clicking a mouse. And of course taking times with my family.

What is your first picture ever taken? Can you share it with us? And what’s the story behind the picture?
Well I’m not quite remember it, since it should be taken when I was 13 y/o, but I can give you a story behind the camera, it’s a brand new Yashica FX3 ( I still use it occasionally ). That’s my first camera, I was winning some cash as a prize for a drawing competition (I can’t remember how much, but it’s quite big for a 13 y/o back then), so my dad decided to buy a camera for me. ( way to go dad! ).

We feel emptiness and loneliness in some of your photos. What are you trying to tell us here?
Ouch!, I got that question a lot ( especially from my wife ha ha ). Well, I cannot really describe it either, I thought and try to explain it for myself sometimes.

Maybe it’s got to do with my Melancholy Personality. The dark, gloomy, emptiness & loneliness evokes questions, lots of questions rather than answers. And do you know that, finding the right questions are so often more important than the answers we find? Or maybe I listening to Suede too long.

What do you like to photograph the most? What is your favourite subject?
Many things, I like capturing the mood so I’m not really object oriented. But if I have to pick one it’s got to be birds, flying birds

When you’re walking down the streets and looking through the viewfinder, what do you see?
I typically find myself attracted to a photographic composition because I happened to see it from a certain angle. I’ve learned to just give in to my intuition, with the faith that my subconscious sometimes knows better than my rational self. I cannot rush this delicate process. I’m a slow photographer.

I can’t leave you without asking, why do you collect so many cameras? How you decide to buy a camera?
Well, I don’t collect, in a way as a collector. I just like to experience with different camera, systems, lenses, etc. I think it’s GAS (note: Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Ha ha ha. But once I tried to work with them, and if I don’t feel comfortable with it, I’ll sell them, and try another. so it comes and goes. That’s why I don’t consider my self as a collector.

How much cameras do you own now? Which one do you use the most?
Right now, I have only 6, I’ve just sold many of them recently. Mostly I use Yashica Mat 124G, Hasselblad 500C/M, and Olympus OM2. but as you’ve already knew I just got Rolleiflex 2.8, it’s very comfortable to use very smooth, heavier than Yashica Mat but smooth. I think it’s going to replace the Mat124 .

I understand that you’re preparing your own book now. Care to share with us about the process?
I’m working on photobook about the city I live, and try to capture it on a square format.

What is the meaning of photography for you?
I think photography is a great medium for people to see things the way other people (a photographer) saw it.

More of Dicky Jiang’s pictures can be found on his Flickr photostream or through his blog.

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