Wing Shya photography

The photographer

Wing Shya is a Hong Kong photographer who transmutes between film, art and fashion. Born in Hong Kong in 1964, Shya returned to Hong Kong following his fine art studies at Emily Carr Institute in Canada. He then and founded the award-winning design studio, Shya-la-la Workshop. His work is one of the most famous in eastern Asia. And he might be the most acclaimed Hong Kongese photographer.

Over the past two and a half decades, Wing Shya has risen to international stardom. He did so as Asia’s top fashion and commercial photographer. His high gloss, color-saturated images – like Richard Avedon’s celebrated magazine and advertising work – bake an emotional-narrative resonance into their glamour, mystery and off-kilter brand promotion.

Wing’s sheer spontaneity has become a signature. The sense of romance and wildness in his pictures, whether of celebrities or foreboding natural landscapes, is the most enduring quality of his work.

The cinematic is always present in the work of Wing Shya having started as the still shots photographer on the set of Wong Kar-Wai’s epic films. The perfection of design achieved in each scene is apparent from a photographer well versed in the language of fashion and cinema, and yet this body of work speaks volumes of something true to the artists’ heart. That is, the human condition and the beauty in its’ messy endeavor to try understand itself.

Also a recognised director, he has directed several music videos, TV commercials, as well as film Hot Summer Days.

In 2006, Shya was the first non-Japanese photographer invited by Mori Art Museum, Tokyo to have his solo exhibition “Distraction/Attraction”. As mentioned earlier, Wing Shya is one of Asia’s best-known artists, with work spanning photography, graphic design and film. He has shot images of some of the region’s top talent and collaborated with fashion houses, brands and magazines.

The artist

“When I shoot, I always carry a character and a script [in my head],” he explains. “The models were part of my story. I tried to find that moment where I saw the character”. Today, his gaze has moved from the stars of the fashion spreads and silver screen to the regular citizens and youth of Hong Kong. “They have something that is real, that even professional actors don’t know how to do”, he says.

Wing Shya frequently contributes to numerous fashion and art magazines. This includes i-D (UK), Vogue Italia, 32c (Berlin), Numéro (France) and TIME Style and Design (US). His clientele includes Louis Vuitton, Maison Martin Margiela, Converse, Gap, Pepsi, A Bathing Ape, Nike, Adidas, Rolex, Swarovsky or L’Oréal.

He regularly takes part in various exhibition and contribute to the art world. Thanks to his influence and creativity.

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