Interview with Vinci Weng of VINCI WENG Studio for Digital Fine Art

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Vinci Weng

A talented artist and a professor of digital fine art as well as a gallery artist for YellowKorner Art Photography in Paris, Vinci Weng has over 35 years’ worth of experience and predominantly works on digital composite photography and contemporary painting.

Interview With The 2023 MUSE Photography Awards Winner – Vinci Weng

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?
I am an artist and professor of digital fine art in university and gallery artist for YellowKorner Art Photography in Paris. I work primarily with digital-composite photography and contemporary painting. In an artistic practice spanning more than thirty-five years, I adopt the pictorial and cinematic concepts that addressing some interesting issues of photography with possibilities to go beyond the limit of digital-composite images. My practice into digital-composite photograph has enabled me to build on the surreal landscapes where fantasies are reflected.
2Where did you study photography?
I studied photography from various studio-based courses at art and design schools in my home country and the UK. In my pursuit of art photography, I started as a personal challenge to explore how much further the image-making can be created. Therefore, ‘seeing, exploring and knowing’ was the principal reference to the context of subject-matter in my early photograph.
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
I took first shot of dramatic skyline for a beautiful sunset landscape in the summer.
4What equipment do you use?
I have been using Nikon Z7 body with Nikkor lenses and Leica digital camera sometime as my main equipment for many years. Also, I have a very deliberate process for manipulating photographs and spent more time on post-editing using different digital application software. Each piece was painstakingly created over several weeks.
5What compliment inspired/touched you the most?
What inspires me the most is an interesting idea to become the best at what I do.
6What inspires your unique storytelling?

Being a digital fine artist, I observe the world closely, I often turn to painting, photography and cinema for creative inspirations of storytelling. I am also inspired by thinking ahead – what exactly is it about dramatic stage that causes me to think creatively or feel inspired?

Besides, movies and music are extremely close to my creative moods. They always bring me inner peace and have helped in dealing with inspirational perceptions and problems. I believe that when my work takes shape and they are in perfect ideas with the storytelling are the most exciting for me.

7What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Surreal, fantasy and picturesque.
8Congratulations! As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
For me, it is a considerable record. This is a great honor and acknowledgment of my accomplishments for which I would like to thank the juries for their fair evaluation. This platinum award is significant to the international contemporary art photography. To win such a wonderful award is the best motivation for my future work because it provides me a sense of success and allows me to look forward to my new projects.
9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

The winning work ‘The New Fantasyland’ is a fantasy set in a fictional universe, often inspired by our real world; it is without specific place or venue. It raises a number of surreal assemblages as well as dramatic boundary in the theatrical scenario. At the beginning, I had to spend a number of weeks observing different sites, and shooting hundreds of hi-res images as they were crucial sources and stimulations in order to achieve the seamless photomontages.

As a kind of ‘fantasyland’, I narrate events and tales through my storytelling picture. This piece is also part of my ongoing project called ‘Adventure beyond the Fantasylands (2020~)’, in which I could have more freedom of imagination and expression on developing a series of the large-scale composition. This project is focused on the re-thinking of a ‘cinematographic’ picture that associates the pictorial concepts and the ideas between realism and surrealism.

10How has winning an award developed your career?
Winning this award is a great honor. In terms of developing the artistic career with a professorship, it can not only make a big difference on professional level but also acts as a good motivation on developing new ideas for my upcoming projects.
11Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
Jeff Wall, Eugenio Recuenco and Julie Blackmon.
12What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?
As a starting point, my inspiration for the series came from styles of painting and cinematic stages when digital imaging became a new way to depict my fantasylands. Basically, the methods and techniques of the exciting image-making that related to photographic skills, digital technology and notions of painting. The new series has been developing a very distinctive quality where reality is mixed with fantasy.
13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?
Identify what you think/imagine about, find your visual sense to creating eye-catching work. With the large number of art photographers that are out there you must develop unique character, context and narrative to stand out. Then, to truly stand out you need to have a vision of difference.
14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Be creative with who you are and do not seek good ideas to try to ‘create’ them.
15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
I think that I need to stay open for any inspirations and possibilities. For instance, I like watching movies, where I am fascinated by the amazing ideas and filmic glamor, and I try to get that into my photographs. So, it has been a magnificent concept to explore and yes, I feel like there is more to be done, but not to follow trends blindly. The perceptions I tend to get from various visual information are very valuable.
16Anything else you would like to add to the interview?
The completion of my photograph has a sense of framework that gives me a hint as to what the next piece might be. The approach expresses what I feel with a logic that is like the order of imagination. It set me on an imaginary path where I am on now and will always be looking for the next fantasylands. However, I hope the viewer can create his/her own scenario, without telling the audience what the story was in my work.

Winning Entry

The New Fantasyland | 2023

The New Fantasyland
The work is fantastic set in a fictional universe, often inspired by our real world; it is without specific place or venue ...
(Read more at MUSE Photography Awards)

Vinci Weng

A talented artist and a professor of digital fine art as well as a gallery artist for YellowKorner Art Photography in Paris, Vinci Weng has over 35 years’ worth of experience and predominantly works on digital composite photography and contemporary painting.

Read more about this interview with Masaaki Toyoyoshi from Japan, the Platinum Winner of the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards.