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Art & Life with Philips Shum

Today we’d like to introduce you to Philips Shum.

Philips, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My name is Philips Shum, 沈非池. I was born in Guangzhou, China in 1987. I’m 31 right now. My fascination with visual art stems from my father’s passion for industrial design. When I was a kid, he would take me to museums almost every month. One day, there was a Salvador Dalí exhibit in town. I remember being surrounded by surreal paintings and sculptures, abducted into a world beyond concepts and linguistic construct. After that day, I was convinced that there is a higher experiential reality that transcends our conceptual cognitive spectrum and I want to find my way through the practice of visual art.

Please tell us about your art.
I work as a cinematographer in Los Angeles, primarily on music videos. I’ve always loved the quality of medium format photography. I find it encapsulates a subject and its environment in a harmonious balance. Five years ago, I decided to bridge the technique of medium format photography into my cinematography work. So I researched and developed a custom optic system that allows me to photograph medium format images with 35mm digital or 16mm film cameras. With the help of experts and friends, after numerous trial and error, we were able to bring this medium format analog imaging quality to narrative films such as “Ella” directed by Dan Chen and music videos for artists such as SiR, Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, The Internet, and Foster the People.

With each project, it comes with a unique set of challenges that refine our techniques in medium format cinematography. I look forward to collaborating with more filmmakers through this unique visual experience, growing together on our journey of visual exploration.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
We live in a cultural climate that values expediency over quality. I find it important to remind ourselves to take our time to find our voice, develop our own perspective and seek the truth.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
The best way to experience medium format cinematography is on a big screen. Most of my work is featured on my website and Instagram. Please feel free to reach out over email or Instagram direct message.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mark Armenta, Jing Niu, Dan Chen, Joe Weil, Jasmine Lin, Philips Shum

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