New Gen #5: Nicole Ngai photographs the freedom of Art School's queer couture and its gang of provocateurs in London
When did you fall in love with photography?
It was when I opened a copy of Dazed & Confused magazine for the first time and saw pages of beautiful fashion imagery.
Who/what/where do you draw your influences from?
I'm inspired by my peers and living in London in general. I moved to London about 2 and a half years ago and I have met the most inspiring, beautiful and brave people I'm lucky to call my friends. People in London are more receptive to new ideas and willing to stand up for what they believe in.
Do you have any close collaborators you work with?
I work with Art School London, modelling and photographing their collections every season. I usually work with people within the Art School family, most recently with Borys Korban, Lisa Preissle and Kevin Cordo.
Name the young and local artists/designers/creatives that you admire.
My best friend Julian Tan who's a photographer, makeup artist and anything-also-can. Photographers Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee, Jonathan Liu, artist and curator Zulkhairi Zulkiflee. Lastly, designer Shawna Wu. Shawna and I are currently working on a live garment installation which includes a film, live performance, fashion and music.
One subject/location/object that you wish to photograph.
I would like to shoot an editorial featuring K-Pop group Big Bang.
One change you wish to see in Singapore.
I want more crazy club nights!
How do you see your photographic work developing in the future?
I would really like for it to mature conceptually. I work mainly in fashion, where one often gets caught up in the quick pace, the aesthetics, the look. Right now I'm slowing down, searching for meaning in my photographs and working towards my major project for my final year at university.
Do you have any tips for other aspiring photographers?
Venture into the darkroom! It's incredibly satisfying to work on the photographic process from shooting film to developing and printing by hand. Find a community of creative friends that understand and support your vision and don't be afraid reach out to people.