By Sophia Hsu
As I enter his studio, Kay is all manners and politeness offering beverages as a good Japanese host would. On this humid day, I am just grateful to sit in some air conditioning while conducting the interview. Soft music is playing from his computer as I notice that I’ve interrupted his work on a new piece. He doesn’t mind, and we start to talk a little about his life because for this up and coming photographe.
In his quest to become a great fashion photographer, he followed his dream to the United States to become an assistant to Patrick Demarchelier, a world renowned French fashion photographer. With no English skills and only determination on his side, he marched up to the studio pictured in a Japanese photography magazine and requested to speak to Mr. Demarchelier and explained as best he could that he was there to become his assistant. The space that was featured in the magazine was not, in fact, his studio, but another photographer’s studio. With no more leads and heartbroken, he skulked back down the stairs and sat on the stoop to wallow in self-pity for a bit. A tall, thin man came out to the stoop for a smoke, but Kay hardly noticed when he began to ask questions. Once the cigarette was dead and discarded, the tall, thin man asked if Kay were the man requesting to be Patrick Demarchelier’s assistant and mentioned that he was once an assistant for a great photographer. The universe was smiling on Kay, and the tall thin man provided a phone number and address. The only thing between Kay and this apprenticeship was Demarchelier’s manager.
Though Kay was persistent and held strong to his beliefs that he was the man for the job, Demarchelier’s manager had no openings for him. With this last defeat in his pocket, he decided to strike out on his own, making a name for himself in the New York fashion and art scene. This bold photographer never lost his inspiration for the fine arts side of photography; he just didn’t always have the means to accomplish the images in his mind. Finally, free of this quest to be an apprentice, Kay was able to set up and shoot one of his most well-known photographs, “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning” – an image that has haunted his mind’s eye since the age of 19. The dramatic black and white photo has been on show at the Chelsea Hotel most recently and can be viewed in miniature on Kay’s website.
So, where will Kay go from here? This photographer with a bright future ahead of him has quite a few photographs submitted to different competitions currently and would like to establish himself as a fashion photographer first in the New York scene. Then, hopefully, he will find his footing internationally. Follow Kay’s career on his website www.kaynny.com