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PORTFOLIO

14.09.2023

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Disorder, colour, wonder and moods: the photographer finds all these things on the street and combines them with his own emotions to create his images.  

LFI: What is it that fascinates you about street photography?
Mingzu Liu:
What fascinates me in street photography is how you can convert disorder into order; how you can find order amid the chaos. As I observe and consider life on the street, I constantly ask questions: are the shapes and colours of people’s personal items in harmony with their surroundings? How can I meaningfully organise the elements in a picture of our confusing, colourful world?

Do the motifs simply cross your path…?
I don’t give the motifs much thought. I simply take my camera to capture whatever I see and feel on the streets. I allow myself to be surprised by chance appearances and encounters. When I visit an unknown city, I don’t want to be influenced by a city map. I prefer to set out and explore the city on foot.

How well does the M10 suit your travels?
The unique visual and technical characteristics of the M10-R stand out and meet all my colour requirements. Even under extreme weather conditions and in tough settings, its performance is outstanding. When I travel, the camera is not just a tool; it is capable of capturing emotions and the most fascinating moments. It reflects my observations and perceptions of the world in a unique manner. The particularity of the camera is its ability to transform my creativity and emotions into visual stories. Each picture is like a screen onto which I can vividly project my thoughts, my perspectives and my feelings about the world. The camera’s technology and optics open up a broad range of possibilities for me – from precise focussing all the way to playing with light and shadow.

What do colours and shapes mean to you?
Colours and shapes have immense meaning for me. Inspired by Sichuan cooking and music, I have learnt how to combine colours in my pictures. Colours remind me of the tasty dishes of my homeland, and of harmonious movements in music. I was born in Sichuan province in south-west China. People here use rich colours and intense flavours, so that food dishes can be perceived by all the senses. Red chillis and green coriander have a firm place in Sichuan cooking. That’s why I like to use red to enliven my pictures. I consider shapes like circles, squares and rectangles as connecting elements between the various entities on the street. Fascinating units emerge out of separate entities.

Is colour your way of expressing optimism?
Yes, I consider colours an expression of joy and optimism. When I’m out and about on the street, the perception of colours helps me feel in a good mood. I leave my mundane worries behind and observe the changes on the street instead. Before I set out, I look in the mirror and say to myself: good fortune, good fortune and, once again, good fortune! (Interview: Katja Hübner)

All images on this page: © Mingzu Liu
Equipment: Leica M10-R with Apo-Summicron-M 35 f/2 Asph and Summilux-M 1:1.4/50 Asph
© Mingzu Liu

Mingzu Liu

Brought up in Sichuan/China, Mingzu Liu studied music pedagogy before coming to Germany in 2021 to continue his studies here. After injuring his left hand, he had to give up playing the piano. This accident and happenstance pointed him in a new direction: he began to “make music” with photographic imagery.

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