WhiteWall Ambassador Profile
SPECIALTIES: Fine-Art and Conceptual Portraits Photography
COUNTRY: China, Australia
Suxing Zhang is a Chinese fine-art photographer currently living in Australia. Born in the late 1980s, Suxing was first trained as a painter. Having witnessed the transition from conventional photography to digital photography, Suxing has skills and experience in both areas.
Suxing Zhang’s works focus on fine-art and conceptual portraits which can be described as impressionistic surrealism. Suxing sees photographs as impressions that involve not only sheer beauty but also a wide range of emotions, and treats facial expressions and postures as the best mediums to deal with complex concepts.
Suxing’s photographs often involve visual metaphors and metonymies to tell stories and express emotions. Experience with painting as well as charcoal drawing has greatly influenced in his use of lighting, composition, colour, texture, and translates to the overall harmony of his visual layouts.
3 MINUTES WITH SUXING ZHANG
SUXING ZHANG - The girl in roses.
How did you actually get into photography?
I started to take photos when I was young, but photography did not mean much to me during that time. In fact, I was at first trained in drawing and painting. There was a point in my life, after I moved to Australia and stopped painting and drawing, I realised that I had to communicate with this world in some ways, and I would like the communications to occur through a medium that can integrate reality, imagination, and personal feelings. That was when I started to connect with photography.
How do you get inspired to develop your image ideas?
Paintings, books, and music, i.e. the three distinctive forms of art, have inspired me when starting my photographic works. Painting has significantly influenced the lighting, composition, colour, and texture of my works. When planning my images, I sometimes consider myself as “a painter with cameras” more than a typical photographer. Consequently, such perception is then reflected in my images.
I like reading different kinds of books. Novels help me shape the objects represented in my works; documentary and history books help build my knowledge of different culture and eras; philosophy books help me understand metaphors and evoke my thoughts from different perspectives. For example, ideas of my latest photo series “Sahā World” are inspired by the Buddhist text “Diamond Sutra”.
SUXING ZHANG - Sahā World - Follow the light, it will take me to your side.
SUXING ZHANG - Sahā World - They say, there lived people deep in the woods.
Music, on the other hand, can also have great impact on my works. I believe that music has the power to unconsciously exploit right moods from both models and me. The choice of music actually depends on individual works.
Which camera do you use?
For work, I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM and Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art for studio shoots, and Sony Alpha 7 III with Zeiss Batis Sonnar T* 85MM f/1.8 and Sigma AF 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art for outdoor shoots. For personal projects, I also use a Fujifilm X100f and Nikon F3HP with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI-s for life documentary and travel shoots. I prefer using prime lenses to limit my sight, so that my ideas and creativity can be freed from the cage of zoom rings.
Especially in portrait photography, the vibe with the model is an essential element for a successful overall composition.
How do you manage to gain the trust of your counterpart?
To gain the trust of models, I think it is important for them to know me and my works. Living in Australia, I always find that having a cup of coffee with my models in a small and nice café before shoots is a good way to make them feel relaxed. When models are relaxed, it is easier to build and make them express emotions. Communication is also crucial for successful shoots. I normally start with a few test shoots and show the models those images, telling them what I am looking for, what I like and what is missing. With the right background music the models can get on the right track pretty fast and smoothly.
SUXING ZHANG - Summer.
Where can you be found when you are not standing behind the camera?
I actually spend a lot of time on reading books, painting, and drawing. During weekends, I sometimes drive to nearby forests or beaches, relax and take a deep breath. Running and boxing are my favourite sports. Recently I started to practice Kendo as well.
SUXING ZHANG - Wet season.
As a fine-art photographer, I often deal with large size prints. I really like the variety of types of prints, with the longest side up to 72 inches, that WhiteWall offers. The high quality of the prints, the expertise and professionalism of the technicians, and the prompt responses and helpful communications make me feel grateful to have WhiteWall handling my images. The acrylic and canvas prints from WhiteWall also offer ways to make my images look like paintings.
The top quality Gicleé prints with solid wood or gallery frames are ideal for gallery exhibitions and personal collections. Personally, I seek prints that convey visual language similar to paintings. Therefore I like the acrylic glass with gallery or shadow box frames.
Discover more product recommendations from Suxing Zhang
Giclée print on authentic art paper from Hahnemühle, Epson & Canson
8 fine art papers to choose from
Easy to hang: All you need is two nails or screws (depending on the size)
Displayed on a gallery ledge: Elegant and impressive
10 different frame mouldings from modern to classic
Large selection of colours and frame widths