Richmond Lam’s Hong Kong

Richmond Lam is a good friend from my Dawson era! Richmond always had a very strong sense of style and it reflects in his imagery. His documentary work is very moody and has a strong narrative thread. He also has a strong portrait portfolio based on character lighting. His name has been popping around lately as he’s been contributing to numerous magazines such as Nightlife and Dress to Kill shooting Montreal’s Indie Rock scene and Fashion! I’ve always had a secret admiration for the guy, envy I guess for his power to attract people to him with his undeniable charisma!

From Chinese descent, Richmond has been traveling to Hong Kong at lease twice and has been documenting his trips. I’m always looking forward to see these new pictures as I never know what to expect. The picture above is a good example of his ability to capture life.

There is something upsetting about this image. I love its asymmetrical qualities. First of the camera is slightly tilted. Then everything is a little bit off-set. The lamps and windows aren’t quite centered, then the darker area on the left side of the image opposes and counter-balances the lighter side on the right. The table is a little bit on the right end of the composition and the guys at the table, though symmetrical, are opposed as the one on the left side is turning his back on us. Then you can zoom in and look at their body positions. Left’s got his arm on the table while right’s got his hand in his pocket. The distance also gives a sense of intimacy and turns the viewer into a voyeur. A very intriguing scene emphasized by the choice of composition. The subject matter is also very interesting. This is a typical composition used in mafia scene, this is why somehow it looks so familiar. But the guys just seem laid-back, having a good time. One more opposition…

I would just love to see this one in large format print to really capture all the fine details!

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