HONG KONG, CHINA
Wing Shya graduated from Emily
Carr Institute in Canada, majoring in graphic design.
Wing established Shya-la-la Workshop, which is an
award-winning design studio. Wing has worked on
films "In the Mood for Love, and Happy Together" to name
a few. He has also worked on many fashion
magazines such as: French Vogue, 32c(Berlin), iD(UK),
Big Magazine (US), Biba (Paris), and More or Less
(Japan). Wing clients includes Louis Vuitton, Dior
skin care, Lacoste, A bathing ape, and Christophe
Lemaire. Wing is known in Hong Kong and
is recognized in the film and fashion industry.
Exclusively Fashion Magazine:
Tell me a little about your journey as a fashion
photographer from when you began until now?
After I graduated in 1991 and returned to Hong Kong, I
started to design CD Albums for local musicians.
Then I began doing numerous photo-shoots for local
magazines. It wasn't until later, maybe after
1997, when I worked with Wong Kar Wai for the first
movie, that Japanese fashion magazines invited me to do
a fashion photo-shoot. It pinpointed my journey as a
fashion photographer, as I applied my cinematic style in
the glamorous shoots.
EFM: Tell me what your typical day is
I work , I hang out with my working buddies and
friends. I live everyday to the fullest.
EFM: What gives you inspiration?
I'm very observative. I pay attention to every
detail in life. Also, movie sound tracks inspires
me a lot.
EFM: What do you enjoy doing in
your spare time?
I like going to theaters, see a movie, and wander around
to gather more inspirations.
How do you prepare for a photo-shoot?
I come up with a storyboard which
resembles a movie. Then I think about the
Do you think that it's hard to become a fashion
It could be yes or no. Technically, it's
easier to manipulate machines nowadays. You can
easily get references from the internet or magazines
around the world, but it's difficult to adopt the
right spectacles that's available out there. It is
difficult to filter that information out.
EFM: What skills do you have
to have in order to become a fashion photographer?
Actually nothing in particular, there are
many approaches to fashion. Even if one has no
skills at all, it could also be a unique creation.
What is important, after all, is to have a unique style.
EFM: What is your favorite
camera to use?
EFM: Describe your style as a
What is the best thing you like about being a
A photographer is like the
master of ceremony. You are the one who decides
which way to go. It's like putting together a puzzle, so almost every single element is under your belt.
You can go wild to be very expressive with your
imagination, therefore it becomes a work that presents
you in your own style.
What would you consider your most favorite photo-shoot?
Apart from the presentation of
style and fashion, I would consider a photo-shoot which
consists of another layer of beauty--art, culture,
humanity or sociology--jumping into the depth of these
things would be something I like.
In detail can you give tips on how to take a great
WS: First of
all, one needs to define what great photo is for
him/herself. Second, when you know about your own
definition about a great photo, then you need to find
your own way to achieve taking a great photo of your
own. Actually there are no definite rules to
taking a great photo. All you need is to genuinely
be able to define it for yourself, and be persistent.
What advice can you give to aspiring fashion
WS: Consistency, persistence and resilience. It doesn't mean
that you're bad when a hundred people out there are
trying to put you down. One should always try
Interview by Rochell “E” James