EK Interview: Chih-han Hsu

art blog - Chih-han Hsu - empty kingdom

Chih-han a.k.a. Victor Tango, photographer and artist from Taiwan, has been a regular in our Empty Kingdom flickr pool, so we thought it was high time to interview him and find out what he is all about.

Follow him: chih-han hsu, Victor Tango, hobogestapo collective, and his blog.

Tell us a little about yourself, where you come from, etc.

I’m Taiwanese, 26, in Brisbane, Australia. I’m trained as a 3D graphic artist pursuing a recently found interest in photography. I’m obsessed with images and people. I think everyone is perverted, the only difference between artist and the others being artist admit to it and hopefully, good at it.

How did you get into photography?

I started shooting my friends from nights out I eventually started taking it more seriously when I got some good feedback from doing a fashion shoot for a stylist friend. I never did it full time, but I started shooting much more when I the game studio I worked for shut down. That was about a year ago when I bought my first dslr. Currently I shoot for a photography collective in Australia called hobogestapo, as well, occasional freelancing.

How would you describe your style?

For people; invading, sincere and obsessive. Places and things; confusing and complete.

What inspires your work?

Imperfections and people. Imperfections in beautiful people are even better.

What sites do you visit for cool art?

I follow many blogs, flickr pages/groups and tumblrs. I also check out places like tinyvice, vice, photographer websites etc.

Who are some photographers you love and why?

Chadwick Tyler: invasive and destructive.

Lina Scheynius: poetic and sincere.

Thomas Prior: simple and no-bullshit.

Paul Herbst: right and wrong.

What gear are you using?

I’m using a canon 5d mkII and mostly a 24-70mm f2.8L at the moment, previously I had a 40d. Sometimes I shoot with my Nikon FM2 or Oylmpus muji II.

What software do you like to finish with, and what kind of process is it?

I usually grade my photos in lightroom first, then maybe photoshop if I think it needs fine-tuning. There isn’t a standard way I work, I don’t really like one visual style, I tend to do what feels right for the photo or just simply how I feel at the time. The photo to be visually interesting to me already though, the editing is just an enhancement. Editing can be seen as a insincerity to fine art photography, but as long as you’re being honest with how you edit I think it’s fine.

I don’t believe in sticking to one style just because people like it. If you’re feeling a certain way for a prolonged time then your photos will prob look a certain way. How I feel tends to drift quite quickly. Doesn’t really bother me as long as I evolve.

When you are doing a photoshoot, what do you focus on?

I tend not to let techniques get in the way, I just shoot what I see, or what I want to see. I’ll sort out the technical stuff out on a preconceived shoot first, then just worry about directing. Connection is what make and image intriguing I think. If you can’t actually take away your subject completely, or at least try to, it’s pointless.

What kind of direction do you give to your models?

I communicate to get them in the right state of mind, but usually i’ll try to shoot them as who they are; who they are to me at least. If they are conscience to the camera I’ll most likely wear them out with a flood of instructions to just clear their mind, then shoot. I’ll do what I can for them to open up, the rest I just let be and find gaps of truth.

How do you see your work developing in the future?

Visually I think I’ll probably be more emotional, instinctive, experimental and honest.

Many thanks,


We included many photos from his contribution to hobogestapo, a fine group of photographers worldwide, and a proud disgrace to photography.