Despite frequent appearances on notable photography and art websites, little is actually known about Puzzleman Leung. In that regard, the Puzzleman moniker seems like a perfect fit, appropriately encapsulating the photographer’s mysterious nature. While the photographer’s Facebook and Instagram feature a girl’s portrait, it’s actually rather difficult to even ascertain Puzzleman’s gender. On websites that feature Puzzleman’s work, the pronouns of “he” and “she” are often interchangeable. Even on Puzzleman’s “About Me” page, little information is offered beyond age and geography, with one line stating “Born in Macao and living in Taipei.” But Puzzleman’s latest photo series doesn’t take place in either of those cities. Titled Tokyo Tokymeky, the new project sees Puzzleman roaming through the streets of Tokyo with frequent collaborator and model Bee Ke, snapping images that contrast her against the surrounding city scenes. With the recent release of this photo series, we were fortunate enough to catch up with this enigmatic photographer for a quick chat. In our conversation, it was easy to see that Puzzleman’s quirky images are simply an extension of the photographer’s own personality. Scroll down to check out more photos from the new photo series and read the highlights from our interview.
摄影师Puzzleman Lueng，正如Ta的名字一般，像一幅散落四处的拼图碎片般带有些神秘色彩。Ta的作品经常出现在各大摄影艺术网站，然而对于摄影师本人，你能从互联网上获得的资料甚少，只知道Ta是一位来自澳门，但居住在台北的摄影师。你甚至很难推测出Ta的性别，Ta的Instagram及脸书账号被清一色的魔幻少女照片占领；而翻看各网站的报道，也会看到竟然有用“He”也有用“She”的称谓来形容这位神秘人士。最近，我们很开心联系到这位“拼图男人”本人，Ta刚带着自己的御用模特Bee Ke漫游东京，完成了这辑最新摄影作品《Tokyo Tokymeky》。和Puzzleman交流的过程中，发现Ta的文字和影像一样有趣，下面我们一起跟着Puzzleman的镜头去东京逛一圈，和拼凑一下这次聊天中Ta留给我们的“拼图线索”吧。
“Since I was little, I haven’t been interested in photography because of people who think they need to spend a lot of money on equipment to shoot photos – I think it’s stupid. I feel nothing when I see these commercial shots or landscape shots of sunsets.”
“For me, photography is just the action of pressing a button when I find something interesting.”
“When I’m creating an image, I feel like a sculptor. I’m turning my subject or my thoughts into my envisioned image.”
“The subject I photograph the most is my girlfriend. When we work together, we find ways to push each other, to prepare for a shoot. I like this process of mutual agitation.”
“I like spontaneous shoots, but I also like planning. I feel that the most interesting images happen somewhere in between the two, so I suppose those would be the ‘accidents.’ Sometimes when I nail a shot and it turns out just exactly as I envisioned it, I find it unbelievably boring. I’m always looking forward to making these ‘accidents’ whenever I’m shooting. I’m pretty infatuated with this idea of accidental shots, and I’m pretty stubborn, so I’ll do anything to try and make them happen.”
“To me, Tokyo is a wonderful place, an amazing city filled beautiful sights and colors. I’ve always been quite infatuated with this place. But on the other hand, I feel that I try to distance myself between Tokyo’s inhabitants. I’m afraid of offending them, so I’ve always been terrified of any interactions with them. It’s pretty contradictory, loving a city but being afraid of its inhabitants. I’m always left scratching my head when I think about this. I suppose it’s because I don’t know them so I don’t fully understand them. The best thing for me to do is to probably go and learn Japanese.”
“A great photo should be an image that inspires others or one so powerful that it refuses to leave the minds of viewers. The most important part is the inspiration. The definition of a great photo now and what can be considered as a great photo in the past have drastically changed. Fifty or sixty years from now, I wonder if photos from modern times would be as intriguing as the older, classic photos that we look at in awe today. Sometimes I wish I had a time machine so I could go into the future and find out.”
As we concluded our conversation, we asked if Puzzleman had any specific message that he wanted to communicate to viewers. Instead of answering, Puzzleman asked us: “What I want to know is, with the way that people mass consume photography nowadays, don’t they get tired of it? Have you thought of what happens if one day people get tired of photography?” If you have any thoughts to share on the matter, drop by any one of Puzzleman Leung’s social media pages and share your thoughts!