Laurent Dequick's Photo Landscapes Capture Hong Kong's Frenetic Pace
Laurent Dequick spends half the year traveling the world shooting images. His urban landscapes are frenetic, with several images laid on top of each other to give a multidimensional atmosphere.
How did you get into photography? I was 12 when I found an old 6x6 camera and a photography book in my parents’ attic. Since then, I’ve never stopped taking photos. For me, digital was a real revelation! No more negatives; no more hours spent in the darkroom. I started organizing small exhibitions. Selling my photos allowed me to finance my equipment, travel and have more exhibitions. I decided in 2012 to quit my 3D computer graphics business to work as a photographer.
Who were your main influences growing up? I’m very interested in Cubism, especially in the work of Marcel Duchamp and his painting “Nude Descending a Staircase.” Cubism describes a scene, an object, by fragmenting it, to get a global vision in two dimensions. Duchamp painted the same model six or seven times in different positions, and the result was not just a depiction of the model, but also of time passing. This is something I respect and reproduce in my creations: I describe passing time in one place.
What inspires you about urban landscapes? Every city stimulates me. I let myself be surprised by the traces of the past, the structure, architecture and monuments, the characteristics of contemporary city: signs, signage, advertisements.
What do you think about Hong Kong? I will always remember the first time I went out of the subway on Nathan Road. I had this impression of entering a hive; I was captivated by the energy that emerged from the swarm of these individuals, the density of traffic, the brightness and quantity of signs… I fell in love instantly.
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What do you look for when you shoot? I always look for the atmosphere and the specificities of a city. I try as much as possible to get easily recognizable elements in my compositions. I try to capture a feeling, this sensation of frenzy in each city. Overlaying images allows me to reach this sensation.
What do you do when you first land in a new place? I’m always excited to shoot new cities—I always start with the most famous spots, which are easy to plan from home. Once I begin to situate myself, or figure out what I want to highlight, I seek my own spots. I return to some cities regularly to photograph them, like Paris or Venice. Unfortunately, Hong Kong is too far from home for me to come back often.