“The Universal Mundane” is a self-published photo zine by Singapore-based photographer Lee Chang Ming. Consisting of 40 pages of full-colour images, the A5 publication is an aesthetic exercise which focuses on the beauty of ordinary and locationally nondescript visual situations found across the globe.
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Tell us about Nope Fun. What is it about and what is your part in the project?
Nope Fun is an online platform that features photographers and artists from all over the world. I started it in 2010 as a means to reach out to individuals who inspired me and it has grown steadily from there. To date, I have conducted 460 interviews (and counting) and various publication reviews.
How do you see your own photography changing over the next year? Do you think it will be influenced by what you do for Nope Fun?
I do think that being exposed to so many talented photographers has an effect my own photography. On one hand, sometimes I feel like many people have a similar style (which is not necessarily a bad thing), but on the other hand, those that stand out to me continue to inspire and motivate me to continue creating.
Stolen Ground no.3 - Ease is a 40 page zine features contributions of 30 photographers on their interpretations of the theme “ease”. Published by the good guys of Montreal-based independent/DIY publishers Stolen Ground, featuring photographers like Wes Frazer, Fabien Vilrus, Lee Chang Ming, amongst others.
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Based in Madison, USA, Mark Harless creates evocative and conceptual images. Specializing in fine art and fashion photography, his pictures are at once intimate and enchanting.
q: What got you started in photography?
a: Mark Harless: I just got out of a long relationship and needed to fill my time with something new. I’ve always been infatuated with photography but just never made that leap to buy a camera and go out to take pictures.
q: Your series “Fertilizer” shows people in plastic bags, what’s the concept behind it?
a: Honestly, most of my photos don’t have a deeper meaning that what you see. They’re very shallow and paper thin. I feel like most artists base their works off of a concept and build around it. I’ll think of something visually appealing, take the picture then find meaning in it after. So for “Fertilizer” I’m thinking that putting dead people in bags is pretty interesting, so I do it. It’s not until I’m finding a title for the series that I come up with the meaning. That death isn’t just the end. It’s not the beginning either. It’s just part of the life cycle. Show me the beginning and end of a circle. After we die our bodies will decompose and the plants and animals will feed off of us in the same fashion a bag of fertilizer would.
q: Do you like seafood? What’s your favorite kind?
a: I was raised on an itty bitty island in the Pacific where everyone knew each other. So, naturally, I love seafood. I have an affinity for ahi and unagi the most, though.
q: What do you like or not like about photography as a medium?
a: Photography has allowed me to become the artist I never was. I can make one hell of a stick figure but anything more than that is sad and makes everyone around me really sad.
q: Photographic equipment?
a: I use a Nikon D600, 50mm 1.8, 24-70mm 2.8 and a disposable camera.