Art immortalizes a creator’s passion. With every brush stroke, we can later observe his or her intensity. In every composition, the aesthetics are designed to portray the artist’s perspective; a dream being made manifest in the connection of thought and action. And for a photographer, it is the conceptualization of an idea, documenting its design, and then bringing it to life through the lens of a camera.
Henri Cartier Bresson once realized, “I suddenly understood that a photograph could fix eternity in a instant”, before he realigned his career from painting into photography.
The red mistress – http://www.vonwong.com/blog/filler/
As is the case for many artists, fame results as a by-product of a unique style or the inherent character revealed to the world. We think of Annie Liebovitz’s perfectionism in the way she brings out her subject’s true personality to make us believe no photographer was present; but rather that we have glimpsed a person’s most intimate thoughts.
To see human ingenuity in action is to understand the inspiration of art. A true artist has an internal motivation, an unrelenting drive, and often times is journeying on an unchartered course in life. It is the sum of these experiences, more often than from formalized training, and the networking with other likeminded and talented people, that the work can be transformed into a masterpiece.
Every so often I meet an artist, whom despite his/her age, emulates the wisdom, skill and tenacity of a seasoned master. Most recently, my muse has been the incredibly talented Benjamin Von Wong.
It takes an immense amount of passion and commitment to capture the images that Ben Von Wong has been able to create. With limited experience and even less formal training, Wong has demonstrated a level of photography that can only be characterized as genius.
Utilizing his background in engineering, Wong’s work reminds me of those of the late Philippe Halsman, also a former engineer, and acclaimed cover photographer for LIFE magazine during the 50s, 60s and 70s.
Wong, like Halsman did in his career, work relentlessly on creating images of perfection. Photographs that make a viewer do a double take and question whether it is real are the culmination of hours and hours of tedious attention to detail and an intense striving toward the goal of creating an epic shot.
Part of Wong’s brilliance arises from the fact that he has harnessed it from his own awareness of his psyche. He is extraordinarily self-aware. Wong recognizes his limitations as well as his strengths. He actually credits his triumphs as after- effects of his shortcomings. For example, Wong’s own awareness of his limited patience has often become a catalyst for his getting projects completed quickly, and perfectly, before moving onto anything else.
This focus helps Wong enter into a creative zone of absorption; a state where time travels quickly as what psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi iconically termed ‘flow’.
Wong reflects on his life with his family, traveling the world, attending thirteen different schools and having learned to speak 3 different languages.
These experiences broadened his awareness about multiple cultures and the world and added a global understanding of the variety of ways people live. Wong also realizes the difficulties of such a life, the constant struggle of not having a road mark, never knowing where he is going for sure. Never sure if he’s making the right decisions. He has had to reinvent himself so many times in his life and has had a tremendous amount of time to reflect on who he is and what he believes in.
The Agonist – http://www.vonwong.com/blog/the-agonist-promo-2012-2/
Wong’s photography is quite remarkable. He credits his creativity to the knowledge of what makes him happy, what keeps him happy to rise each morning and feel passionate about what is being sought. One distinctive attribute of an artist is the ability to see beauty, or the potential of beauty, in the everyday. As he meets new people and makes new connections, his repertoire of inspiration grows. Wong’s mind is so open to all that he is, as well as all that is everyone else.
After spending a short amount of time with Ben Von Wong, anyone would be privileged to attest to his brilliance, artistry and potential for further greatness. His mind has been able to develop in an environment which has primed him for iconic art. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this young man has set the bar for the photography industry for the years to come. Mark my words, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Von Wong’s work as he continues to bloom, expand and become more of who he is.
Salvation – http://www.vonwong.com/blog/pyrofashion/
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