SuLi, could you briefly introduce yourself? How did you become a photographer?
I am a photographer, and just a photographer. I am sure I am not an artist. I like to find the balance between commercial shooting and finding my own personal style. In fact I always look for some inspiration from my portfolio, and use it for a commissioned project.
My first experience with cameras was not at a young age as many other photographers have experienced it. When I studied in Paris during the month of October in 2003, I went to the forest near Château de Fontainebleau. The golden leaves were so beautiful and amazing, I vividly remember the view being quite clear. I thought I should have taken some photos to remember this moment and experience.
You accepted a joint commission from Luxury Collection and Leica Camera. What did this commission consist of exactly?
Leica camera is a very handy and exquisite tool, so I used my alacrity and eagerness in exchange of recognition of the hotel and its neighbourhood.
What’s your relation to the Leica? What camera did you decide to use for this commission and why?
To me, Leica Camera is a close partner and friend. It is always my first choice. I started using the Leica M7 and M6 back in 2005, and I fell in love with them. Eventually, I hope I will be a signed photographer with Leica. For this occasion I used the Leica T and the Leica Q.
For this project, you captured Shanghai’s unique treasures and hidden gems. Please tell us about this experience.
As a street photographer, I constantly used my curiosity to watch the surroundings of the hotel in Shanghai. I walked through the streets many times and looked for anything that would appear interesting or appealing to my eye. I went into nearby yards and houses. I talked with people with my readiness and they willingly accepted that I could take the pictures.
Do you already have further photographic projects planned?
I am organizing the first Leica Jeep Photography Match and the awarding ceremony will be held by the end of March 2016. It is the first serious and grand Leica Jeep match in China. Then I plan to travel to Ukraine by the end of April and shoot the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl incident.
Renowned portrait photographer SuLi was born in 1977 in Beijing. After having obtained a Masters degree in Advertising from l’Ecole Supérieure de Publicité in Paris, SuLi worked in the photo department of one of the most important newspapers in the world, Le Monde. There, he not only won the award for ‘Best Contract Photographer’, but also for photo news excellence for his photograph ‘Paris is bidding to host the Olympic Games’ in 2005.
To know more about the Twelve at Hengshan Luxury hotel, please visit the official website.
The Leica offer can be viewed on the hotel website.