Qi Wei is a Singapore-based photographer with a minimalist style and a profound dedication to the art of photography. The following statement from his website sums it up nicely:
"Art is 'making special.' Essentially, I try to 'make special' via the medium of photography. I strive to make images which touches both the feeling part and the thinking part of your mind. My art seeks to get your attention (the feeling part) and hopefully engage you on a deeper level as you look at it for longer (the thinking part)."
We asked Qi Wei to tell us a little bit about his Floral Paintings series, one of his many series that actually has four pieces selected to be part of the finalists’ exhibit at the SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery at Alliance Française de Singapour as part of the France + Singapore Photographic Arts Award 2012.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started with photography.
I am an artist (based in Singapore) who uses the medium of photography, post processing, and print making to create prints that I hope can evoke a response from both the thinking and feeling part of you.
I've been using the digital camera as a tool for my art for about 10 years or so. I originally picked up a camera from curiosity, because I am a technically inclined person and the camera seems to combine both science and art well (hopefully!)
What first inspired you to create Floral Paintings and Exploding Flowers?
The Exploded Flowers are a result of curiosity and playing—two traits that I feel many of us lose along our journeys to have a career and family. I think the closest project which comes close to inspiring the Exploded Flowers may be Todd McLellan's Disassembly series.
Whilst doing the Exploded Flowers series, I discovered that each petal/pistil/anther etc is literally a Brush Stroke of Nature. First I remixed classics like Van Gogh's sunflowers, then I moved on to original works.
What gear do you use to capture your Floral Paintings?
I am very minimalist. I use daylight in my living room, and for the Floral Paintings I use either a Leica M9 or Pentax 645D for capture. Of course a stable tripod is needed. The only mode I use in my cameras is "M" for manual. Same goes for focusing.
Can you tell us a little about why you love seeing your art in print? What do you get in print that you don't get digitally?
The Print is truly the holy grail for people who want to express with photography. To make sure the audience is seeing exactly what you want to show, the only consistent way is to make a print, because monitors cannot be perfectly calibrated across the world. Also, the resolution of a print is way higher than a monitor, which is much more demanding on an artist. A print also has texture, and lighting to consider. And above all, a print never runs out of battery or power.
I've spoken to some people who saw both my art in exhibition and on my website, and it is unanimously agreed that the print is much, much better and has more to offer.
I prefer to print directly myself or at least oversee personally the creation of a print (in cases where the print is so large I need a professional print maker with the proper equipment to make one).
Any words of advice on photographers looking to get more into printmaking?
Get a small printer capable of making A3 prints on various papers. Many companies like Epson, Canon, HP have great printers. The post processing / print making process slows things down and forces you to examine every little bit of your art, and you will be better for it.