Interview Series: Paul Phung

There’s a mastery to black & white photography – if not captured with expert poise, the images can look tired and washed out. It’s not the case with London-based Paul Phung‘s slightly eerie, loosely erotic, contemplative black & white photographs of women.

We asked him to submit his top ten faves from his portfolio, and though he strayed a bit from his “dark lights and atmospheric smoke” signature style to offer us a different visual picture, the images resonate fiercely. His choice edits get skin deep, and as Phung tells us, “To a certain degree, I feel these images explain who I am as a person.” Have a look:

Q&A (conducted by Aban Sonia)

LF: Your images are haunting and unbelievably engaging, was this something you developed subconsciously over time?

PP: Slightly subconsciously but also this style of work comes naturally to me, looking back at some of my earliest work there are notable similarities to my work of the present but it’s just more refined now.

LF: There’s a repeating sense of depth and motion trapped within each series, why do you feel movement of and from your subjects is so important?

PP: Honestly as a person, I find it hard sometimes to show my emotions or feelings and like to keep myself hidden from people and I guess in a way the only way you can understand my emotions is through my photographs.

LF: Where were you when you found yourself the most inspired artistically?

PP: I’ve answered this question before and said when I’m drunk but now thinking about it, it’s really not. I love lying in bed with my headphones in, listening to music extremely loud and I think it’s then when most of my ideas come to me.

LF: How do you translate your own emotional freedom and entrapment with each story?

PP: I’m a very spontaneous photographer, it’s hard to explain in words but when I’m shooting I just know at that exact moment what I want for the picture, sometimes I try to imagine myself on the other side of the lens.

LF: What piques your sensual side?

PP: The feeling of being lost.

LF: Your work is greatly inspired by cinema. What’s the latest film that really touched you?

PP: I watch so many films and honestly no recent film has really taken an impact on me, However Andrei Tarkovsky’s film ‘The Mirror’ is one of them rare films that takes a hold of you and made me feel in complete awe throughout.

LF: Describe your creative process in five words or less.

PP: Don’t think too hard.

LF: Who do you favor collaborating with: well-to-do professionals or starving artists?

PP: Anybody like-minded and share similar visions as me.

LF: How fast do you live?

PP: Not fast enough.


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