Iizawa Kotaro, photography critic

It was 15 years ago when I first met Almond Chu. He was studying at the Tokyo College of Photography. As a freshman, he could not hide the jitters within in facing a new environment. Yet, as a student, his novice works on human portraits left a lasting impression even by now.

Almond Chu returned to Hong Kong after graduation, and started making a name in the advertising and fashion industries. Every few years, I would pay visits to Hong Kong, and each time I’d seen a more confident Almond, much like an established photographer. Aside of his hectic work schedule, Almond manages to find time to finish off his portfolios. He is as enthusiastic as always in holding his exhibition.

I am somewhat shocked to see his latest works in this exhibition, he seems to set foot on an entirely new world. I have become as accustomed to the Almond who is master in human and nude portraits, but portraits of “things” are so new from the lens of Almond. And they are no ordinary things in that matter. For instance, a gourd with nails hammered on it, cow’s head and foot, pig’s nose, and watermelon with tail. Each one of them has their own themes, both humorous and weird. Who could resist their charm? They say “practice makes perfect,” and I see a new level of photographic skills and manipulation of settings in his latest works. They hold something that is not there previously, it must have something to do with certain passion and recollection from within.

There is no way to tell whether there will be an extension to his “Life Still” Series, or Almond will take on an entirely new turn the next time around. However, I believe that this series will become an important milestone in his career. And I’d definitely look forward to be shocked by him in the future.

1999 Tokyo