CAPTURE MAGAZINE, AUSTRALIA ~
Throughout history there has been much contention surrounding the definition of creativity. The common accepted definition is that creativity is the act of creating something new, something from nothing. According to this definition however, many argue that only writers and poets can be considered to be truly creative, while artists (under which category photographers fall) only replicate what already exists. What would you say to someone with that belief and what is your own understanding of creativity?
ZH: Its an interesting idea but I would argue that most worthwhile painters and photographers don’t replicate what already exists but use their craft to create work that is an interpretation of what they see or imagine. Photographers use light to paint an image, and in most cases, a variety of processes afterwards to change and bend what they’ve captured to further alter it from reality. If the photographer is using the medium to do this then they must be considered to be creating something new.
Everyone’s creative process is different. For some creativity comes easily and leads to a proliferation of great work while others describe their creative process to be like extracting poison, slow and incredibly painful. What is your creative process like?
ZH: Ah yes the ‘beautiful burden’. I confess I’m not one of those wonderfully crazy people with an elastic mind stretching off at tangents all of the time and obsessing with work. I wish that I was less ordered, less literal and more radical, however the upside is that I’m content to let the ideas or the situations to create arrive in their own time. I need to create but not in a way that is destructive.