Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer 2011: Jing Huang „Pure of Sight“

Jing Huang – Pure of Sight, Newcomer 2011

Traditional Chinese painting places less emphasis on meticulous detail and more on emotional delivery. Jing Huang applies this philosophy to his photography. With his Leica M4-P he has transformed the trivial things of everyday life into dreamy, poetic works of art.

Jing Huang’s photographs of everyday trivialities are atmospheric, sophisticated and tender. The portfolio “Pure of Sight” is not dedicated to any subject in particular. It shows landscapes, wildlife and close-ups. Each of his twelve black and white images has its own unique story to tell. Almost unnoticed, a pig’s snout appears from behind a wall; a lotus leaf reveals a morbid tear; a canary muted behind a plastic bag. Lost in thought, people gaze into the distance at the hint of a horizon.

Jing Huang’s camera is more than just a working tool. It is his accomplice. Through his camera the photographer expresses his inner feelings to the outer world – and true poetry emerges.

“When I’m with my camera, I follow my intuition. It’s better for me to capture something emotionally.”

He discovers his subjects just outside his door, on his way to work, out with friends, or even at home. Nevertheless, each photo has a charisma of its own. Everyday scenes and objects are suffused with a magic that captures the viewer’s soul. The young photographer has discovered a way to lend enormous depth to familiar and seemingly trivial things. Jing Huang explains that he could never be a good writer because he finds it difficult to find the right words. And that is why the camera is his eye, and photography is the medium to express his innermost thoughts. His images communicate what he has to say without the need for words. Viewers see the world as it is seen through the eyes of the photographer.

Emotions are the colours Jing Huang uses to create his pictures: to give them adequate expression, he uses black and white film. “It’s very natural for me to choose black and white. I’ve tried colour photography but it wasn’t expressive enough for my heart.” Jing Huang’s photos are not primarily about the things in the picture – a strange kind of paradox in the field of photography. His keen sense for the moment comes from his spiritual awareness. His images are like an emotional feedback system.

“I belong to the environment: light, wind, water, stone, animals and people. All are helping me explore the deepest places in my heart.”

He always has his Leica M4-P on him: “I prefer using wide-angle lenses and working with smaller apertures. This gives things a vivid, more powerful impression. With a rangefinder I can do a pretty good job at calculating how the various objects will relate to each other; it makes accurate composition with larger depths of field much easier. It’s quite magical.”

(Text updated 2020)

Interview with Jing Huang (2015)

Jing Huang

Jing Huang was born in 1987 in Guangzhou, a city in south China with eleven million inhabitants. He studied photography at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts until 2010, and currently lives and works as a photographer in Shenzhen.

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