London-based photographer Kin Chan creates light-filled images that evoke an ethereal, dream-like world – one parallel to our own but witness to short-lived and remarkable moments of mysterious beauty. Growing up in Hong Kong with parents who never owned a camera, he got his first lens from a flea market when he was 17 and started shooting seriously a few years later. Kin moved to Vancouver at age eighteen to attend the University of British Columbia where he studied Fine Art and Theatre Production and graduated in 2011, having taken a hiatus in his third year to spend time in Paris.
Kin has been inspired by fellow photographers Wolfgang Tillmans, Rinko Kawauchi, Anders Edström and Mark Borthwick but it’s clear in looking at his work that he’s an admirer of painting and his compositions and use of colour have been influenced by artists as diverse as Chinese Impressionist painter Liang Tongxiu and Ellsworth Kelly. Vancouver-based painter Gordon Smith, whose depictions of the natural world around him hover between abstraction and representation, have also affected the way Kin views landscape.
Working in fashion photography in addition to building his own practice, Kin is particularly skilled in portraiture. His images of people are tender but also captures their vulnerability, as if they have taken off the mask they put on to face the world. But it was Kin’s landscape photography that we were particularly taken with – the works that make up his eschatē series include images of the linear repetition of tree trunks, the dappled light as it falls through the foliage, the mottled surface of a body of water, a spray of rain and the rainbow prism it creates – he turns his lens on moments which are simultaneously simple and exceptional. Kin’s specific view of the world is expressed not only through the remarkable moments he captures, but also through his painterly use of light and his soft, ambient focus. Kin very kindly agreed to share some of his striking images of the natural world with us.
All images are from the eschatē series, 2010-2012. Courtesy of the Artist.