HK Magazine: You’ve just released a book of your works. Tell us something about it. Almond Chu: My book, “Hong Kong Photographers Three—Almond Chu” contains a selection of my most recent works. One of my favorite series in it is “Parade,” which examines Hong Kong’s culture of protest. I was inspired after taking part in the July 1 march in 2003. But in all these images, I take one person—sometimes a model, sometimes myself—and use their figure hundreds, even thousands of times, each with a different gesture. The process made me reflect upon life in Hong Kong. People here prefer to follow the crowd; they’re afraid to be the odd one out. My photographs have a sense of irony. HK: You’ve been doing portraits since 1984. What do you find so fascinating about faces? AC: The human face can be a representation of a specific period in society and history. Plus, there are many possibilities when studying the complexities of a face. Expressions and gestures are constantly changing. It’s an interesting creative process when the subject has their emotions, and the photographer has his. You have to find a medium where both sides can express their feelings. HK: Most of your portrait subjects are artists. Why? AC: When I first started, many people were skeptical about having their photographs taken, so it was easier to approach artists who understood what I was doing. As an artist myself, I like to understand other artists by looking at their works and taking their pictures. Actually, I think that the facial features of artists are different from those of ordinary people. One of my favorite regular subjects is renowned local sculptor Tong King-sum. He’s disabled and has a hunched back, and yet he continues to make ceiling-high sculptures. Seven years ago he started to depend on an oxygen machine in order to breathe, but even now, he keeps working. He’s a man of great energy—you can see this in his eyes. HK: You also like flowers. How are photographing flowers different from photographing humans? AC: I’m greatly influenced by Robert Mapplethorpe, a famous American photographer who took a lot of flower shots. I’ve been called the “Chinese Robert Mapplethorpe” by some critics. I shoot flowers as if they’re people—I use lighting to capture their silhouettes. But unlike Mapplethorpe’s works, I give my flowers a Hong Kong touch and poetic symbolism. For instance, I commemorated the June 4th Tiananmen Square massacre by photographing two images: a dying bauhinia, and a black veil draped over lilies. HK: What about your nudes? AC: My nude models are mostly faceless. Even if the face is shown, it’s an insignificant part of the photograph. I appreciate the beauty of the human body. One of my nudes is a male torso that resembles a headless Greek statue. Almond Chu’s latest photography book, “Hong Kong Photographers Three—Almond Chu,” is out now. Details: www.asiaonebooks.com .