With a unique perception of art, Chai Jin Chen has had a fruitful experience in the creative world before approaching the field of photography. He attributes this choice of art work to several significant people in his life who paved the way towards his career.
“Under my father’s influence, I learnt how to develop and print photos when I was young,” said Chai. “Back in those days, full-body photos were popular but I am more interested in capturing the different parts of people.”
When he was at university, Chai studied film and media make-up and styling design courses which nurtured his sensitivity towards art and gave him abundant chances to train his instincts.
From this experience, he now mainly focuses on aesthetics in his current work. His decade-long experience taught him how to build the most beautiful of pictures as he emphasises that imagination and sensitivity towards objects the camera captures is highly important.
“When you are taking photos, motivation to make thoughts and ideas come true are essential,” he said. “You also need to control the view and models’ emotions since you are the director of the photo.” He describes that “post-production of photos is similar to painting – while oil is used on canvas, computers are utilised to draw on photos.”
On Chai’s project “Recording Love Through Feet Washing,” he has brought out a two-tier message on the core of love under a fading culture in China.
“At the beginning, I just wanted to record love and relationships of the general public and the elder generation but it is quite difficult since they don’t use hugs or kisses to express. Also, taking family photos are too common.”
His parents’ daily routines finally inspired his project, which started his journey of capturing feet washing over a hundred families on camera. It is not only a tradition that he has recorded but also a basic contemporary representation of humankind.
For this project, Chai asked friends and even friends of friends to find the families that were willing to be captured on camera and share their stories. Aside from photography, the project also required communication with families. Chai went through a long process of showing his portfolio first to receive consent, then showing the photos he had taken for the families. This helped him gain more trust as by looking at his work, people were touched at the familiar nostalgia combined with the way Chai’s photos captured the essence of the subject.
“I love this project the most so far because it is full of love, and ‘love’ is an everlasting theme.”
He intentionally used oil painting effects in his photos to create the post-production feel. Chai himself likes oil painting very much and had even considered that as one of the subjects he would choose if he could study again.
“I like to create my own unique style and make the audience able to recognise my works from everything else. The colour and atmosphere could be created to be ‘my style.’ I even got a comment from a curator describing my style as ‘obvious.’”
After embracing photography, Chai has stopped all his works as a stylist and only focuses on artistic creation. He found his own value and believed that he has made the right choice.
“I believe that as a human being, one must do at least one thing that touches oneself and others. I want to be a great artist and mark my works in history.
在創意的世界裡面，Chai Jin Chen擁有豐富的經驗；也因如此，他接觸攝影的視角非常獨特。他將自己看待攝影的態度和拍攝的美感歸功於幾位在他生命中重要的人。
Chai說：「當你在拍攝的時候，想要讓人家明白你的想法和主意非常關鍵。你同時需要控制畫面和模特兒的情緒 – 因為你就是照片的導演。」他形容照片的後期製作就像是畫油畫一樣 – 畫布上用的是顏料；電腦就是用來在照片上畫畫的畫筆。
「我喜歡創作自己的風格並讓觀眾能夠在芸芸作品中認得我 – 利用顏色和氣氛去營造整個『我的風格』。我以前甚至得到一個策展人形容我的創作風格就是很『明顯』。」