All images by Klive Lai. Used with permission.
Many photographers try to find a way to express love and connections through their images: and Klive Lai is no exception. But his interpretation is much more extreme and in many ways beautiful. That’s the idea behind UnQuarantinable Love–a photo project inspired by thriller disaster films that looks much like Chernobyl.
Photographer Klive Lai comes from Taiwan, which he describes as a beautiful and lovely island country on the Pacific Ocean. Klive is the type of photographer whose creativity has evolved and formed from other things before he started shooting. “I was a guitarist in an underground band. Naturally, things related to arts are my fondest interest.” he tells us. “That might be one of the greatest thing that influences me as a photographer.”
Klive is currently smitten with Lomography and analog cameras since he feels that it makes him bolder in his shooting. “I really enjoy experimenting with different combinations of lens and films and give birth to endless possibilities of photography creations. I love to record the daily happenings with my analog camera, and find great pleasure from the romantic atmosphere of shooting with films.”
Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography?
Klive: It should be around 9 years ago that I first had a chance to pick up a camera, during my college years. Back then, I was simply into recording the daily happenings with a DSLR. I remember it was a Canon 400D, after that, I became more interested in shooting genres such as Landscape, Nature, Long exposure stars & car railings.
But more strictly speaking, it was when I started to be fully devoted to film photography that lead me to really entering the gate of photography. It was around three years ago when I first got on the old lens adapted to my digital camera. I had a chance to purchasing my first second hand film camera– a Nikon FE. I became more aware of the details of composition and exposure control. After all, there’s only 36 pieces of film, and each shutter is so precious to me!!
Currently, Lomography has become the core (structure) of my photography. The concept “Don’t think just shoot” has totally revolutionized my value on the concepts of photography. It enables me to not just capture more precious moments, but has also become bolder on the composition of the shot. I no longer only has to worry about fine-tuning the exposure techniques or the performance of the equipment; Lomography has freed me from the cage of photo-shooting, and empowered me to become more expressive and creative on how to manifest the picture I got in my heart.
Phoblographer: Why portraiture and analog photography?
Klive: My favorite has always been portraiture and analog due to the heartfelt temperature and saturated emotions they are able to contain.
Phoblographer: How did the idea for Unquarantineable Love come about?
Klive: On this shoot, I used different materials to lead the emotional interpretations. For examples: the bear doll = the end of life continuation, the last rose bouquet= the last offering of love, Gas mask= catastrophes caused by humans, candle= light of hope, umbrella= protection, tunnel= shelter. The varies emotion initiators are tools hoping to stimulate the viewers’ own interpretation of love.
There are many things that inspire my photographic creations, for example: magazines, manga, graphic media, music and movies, to name a few. For “Unquarantineable Love”, the inspiration comes from the movies The Dyatlov Pass Incident and Chernobyl Diaries. Both films are mainly presented in a disaster-thriller way, but the atmosphere of both films was able to stimulate what I wanted to express with the work– ” To love with the last bits of strength, then all there is left in the world is one another.”
Phoblographer: Why the choice for Cine film?
Klive: Depending on the topic of choice, surely I will have different film selection accordingly. For Cine film, it provides a dramatic effect due to its color shading. It builds an atmosphere of paced storytelling. The unique qualities weave the photo shoot portfolio into a heart-breaking poem; to me, it’s even more compelling than a beautiful song.
Phoblographer: What do you plan on doing with the series? A Book maybe?
Klive: In the future, I plan to expand this photography series with other related topics. It will be first presented in the form of solo exhibition. The center thought of the series will be how progression of human modernization affects the whole society and changes the larger environment; and from that brings out how emotional relationships in people changes in modern civilization.