Irving Kwok is a Singapore-based dance portrait photographer and the founder of Six Senses Photography. Since 2015, he has been traveling around the globe to collaborate with ballet dancers. Over the past years, he travelled and worked with the dancers from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Japan, Singapore, USA, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands…etc. Irving’s photographs proved to be one of the top dance portrait photographer not only around Asia but also internationally successful.
1.How do you get into photography?
Photography started out as a hobby for me when I bought my first DSLR 10 years ago. As my skills improved, I started to take on assignments and did freelance wedding and portrait for a number of years. Now I’m back to just doing photography as a hobby, preferring to spend my time on personal projects.
2. What’s so special about working with dancer?
I used to dance during my younger days which helped me develop an appreciation for the aesthetics involved as well as the tremendous amount of hard work that goes into the craft. The beauty, grace and strength (among many other things) that dancers are able to portray are such a joy to capture. Finally, there’s an extreme sense of satisfaction working with like-minded artists to create works of art are second to none, especially when the ideas come to life through the dancers’ movements and poses.
3. Favourite country so far?
I’m a city-person who likes places that never sleep so I’d go with Japan – great urban environments, historical architecture, food, culture, and of course amazing ballerinas to work with!
4. What make you stand out from other dance photographers worldwide?
I really love traveling and before starting my worldwide dance photography project, I’d always obsess about finding opportunities to capture pictures of beautiful landscapes and architectures in the places I visit. And now, I try my best to combine the two genres, which is why spaces and places are such important components of my dance photography.
5. Any plans on venturing onto another art media such as film making?
Video does intrigue me but I my hands are full enough with current commitments so I don’t think you’ll be seeing one from me soon!
6. Your thought on promoting your work on social media platform?
I think that art exists to be viewed and appreciated so it’s important to leverage the best platform for sharing and networking. My worldwide dance photography project would never have gotten off the ground had it not been for social media that gave me the channel to connect with dancers all over the world.
7. Indoor or outdoor? Why?
Mostly outdoors, because the world is so vast with unending places to see and explore. That said, some of my most beautiful work to date was taken indoors especially in Europe whose interior spaces have such beautiful architecture.
8. Who is your biggest inspiration?
Steve McCurry, because of how he has spent his life travelling the globe to capture some of the most breathtaking and inspiring photos of places, people and cultures many of us can only dream of visiting.
9. What type of Camera do you use?
A DSLR with good weatherproofing because half the time I’m shooting in the rain!
10. Any new coming project that you will like to share with us?
Project Dancescapes just turned 4 years old and I don’t think I’m even halfway yet in terms of places I want to visit and create dance pictures at, so this is probably something I’ll continue working on for the foreseeable future.
Dancers Credit (Top to bottom): Nazer Salgado & Li Jie, Alison Carroll, Linda Chen, Svetlana Lunkina, Jessica Xuan
*Follow Irving on Instagram :https://www.instagram.com/sixsenses.irving/
All Photographs kindly provided by Irving Kwok