Catching Up With: Ric Tse

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Ric Tse is a Hong Kong based photographer with special focus on portrait photography. Tse has won numerous local photography competitions, including Canon Photomarathon (2009), Metro Photo Challenge (2011), and Samsung Motion in Details (2012).

For his current series, Tse has photographed scenes around Hong Kong, sometimes cultural or nostalgic, sometimes political, and always easily recognizable. He then interprets these scenes by marrying them with his Lego figures. Titled ‘Legography’, this body of work recreates a typical Hong Kong citizen’s view of his hometown with a healthy measure of local humour, bringing witty charm and fun to the photographs. Drawing on the innocence and naivety embodied in the Lego figures, Tse’s work not only captures the essential mood and character of Hong Kong, but also appeals to the viewers’ childlike spirit.


How do you go about building and creating each scene?
I take on two directions when creating a scene- the first is always a focus on the characteristics of Hong Kong, especially street photography, juxtaposing this with Lego to inject humour. I use Lego to recreate the scenes of what I shoot, but also I’ve tailor-made my own props to supplement the lego pieces to create even more intricate details.

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Have you thought about using other toys or figurines? Moving forward, would your scenes still be HK based or you would open doors to have a more international feel?

I have added on other toys in my photos but not other figurines as lego is seen as an international figure that most would recognize. Besides, Lego has many different facial expressions that can allow the photos to be more relatable from a global standpoint, and to encourage international appreciation. I am trying to work on photographic scenes from my travels outside of Hong Kong. For example, this one I took in Hokkaido this January.

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What do you like the most about photography as a medium?

I really enjoyed drawing and painting when I was young but I didn’t feel as confident in expressing myself. When I was in my late 20s, I discovered photography, a medium through which I felt comfortable in expressing myself. I feel it can capture the best moments in life where the images allow you to relive those moments whenever you please. It also enables me to recreate a “picture” in my mind that is reflected in my legography collection. It’s fun!

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Could you share what it’s like to be an artist in Asia? What are some of the challenges you have faced?
I’m working on Legography as an interest, doing something that I really enjoy. I’m glad that many people like my Legography collection. The greatest challenge is that Photography is not yet a medium that is trending in Hong Kong. I hope that with time, photography is increasingly appreciated in Hong Kong with the increased organization of more exhibitions and events with a focus on photography.

What can we look forward to from you in 2016?
This year I started a new concept on legography in the form of panoramas. “Along Victoria Harbour” is one of the pieces I’ve been working on. Looking forward, I would like to continue my series but take on different photographic formats which will hopefully lend more inspiration in my future conceptual photography works.

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