Emerging Photographers: Teresa Eng

25th June 2018

We love learning about emerging photographers who are making a huge impact. We interviewed a group of inspirational fine art photographers, each with their own distinct style and desire to break the mould. Each artist’s work is surprising, varied and impossible to categorise. From different backgrounds and countries, all these photographers are exemplary in their field and already recognised as being hugely influential. We wanted to know how they channel their creative energy, where they draw inspiration from, and what they hope to achieve. 

Thanks for speaking with us, we’re always really interested to talk to photographers. Can you give us an idea of your background, how long have you been working as a photographer?

I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada, and my background is in communication design. I have been doing photography since I was a teenager but I fell into communication design because of the wide variety of things I was interested in from graphic design to photography to the moving image and in 2008 I decided to do a masters. It was a one year programme and I’ve been working since then as a fine art photographer predominantly on a lot of long term personal projects and also in the book format. I’ve made two self-published books and I’m working on a third which will be released this year.

Can you tell us about your recent exhibitions?

Yeah I’m in two shows  at the moment. One is Hyères, a fashion photography festival in France, where I was a finalist, and I’m also showing at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.

Oh wonderful, Liverpool is a great city.

Yes it’s been great getting to know Liverpool and the people- there’s a lot going on.

What is your process like? Are you mostly outside or in your studio?

A lot of my work is observational so I am often outside and then I bring the work inside. I'll spend a lot of time outside, but then as I start to move inside it’s more about developing the strands of thought and connection with the images.

Do you especially enjoy photographing people?

Yeah, I do a mixture of portraiture and still life images and with regards to photographing people...I suppose in this day and age we don’t really have random encounters with strangers as much, everyone connects through their phones and being someone who has grown up somewhere between analog and digital I quite like having these encounters, the antithesis of everything being conducted online.

What’s your inspiration as an artist?

I think it’s important to make sense of the world as an artist, to have a sense of what's going on. We’re all responding to what’s happening around us and there's so much change, politically and technologically. A lot of my work is now about that. A response to that.

Do you feel a responsibility as an artist to reflect the changes you see and social/political climate?

I don’t think it is the responsibility of an artist but it’s just my approach and how I make work. But the work that inspires me the most does always seem to be this reflection of the world. I also grew up watching movies, going to the cinema, we’d just watch anything and that was a great art form. I’m looking a lot at how painters use colour and texture.

And do you have any rituals, would you say you're routined in your work or more fluid?

I think I’m always trying to change. I never want to do the same thing so i'm always experimenting. Last year I spent a lot of time in the dark room because what I love most about photography is the analog process so the current project I’m working on is exploring that analog side of things.

Do you imagine moving into other artistic areas?

I have a background in design so it’s inevitable that design is always going to be a part of my work.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I have a book coming out in September, published with NB books, a small publisher based in London so that’s exciting.

Thanks so much for your time Teresa!

To see more of Teresa's work, check out her website at teresa-eng.com