Benjamin Von Wong On Hyper-realism and His Inspiration

Canadian photographer Benjamin Von Wong has made a name for himself by developing a style that is distinct and imaginative. Much of his work has gone viral, and in doing so has raised awareness for the social issues his photography often represents. We asked him a few questions in order to explore his creative process and the inspiration for his work.

Hi Benjamin, can you introduce yourself for those who are not already familiar with you and your work?

I like to think my art style is hyper-realistic, fused with special effects and concepts that I specifically design in order to drive conversation and hopefully go viral. I have a background in engineering, which I believe gives me a unique edge for creative problem solving, especially when technical challenges become friendly competition. What fuels me most is my passion for connecting with others and sharing engaging stories in novel ways. Right now, I’m currently focusing on conservation and social impact projects.

“I try to begin with something extraordinary”

Benjamin Von Wong On Hyper-realism and His Inspiration

How did your passion for photography begin?

A girl broke up with me while I was working in a mine in Winnemucca, Nevada. The stars were pretty so I thought, why not buy a camera to capture them. One thing led to another and here we are today.

Your projects are always very impressive and involve a great deal of effort. What is your creative process?

I try to begin with something extraordinary – if it’s something that hasn’t been done before and if it’s something I think will resonate with people then I pursue it a little further.  

Benjamin Von Wong On Hyper-realism and His Inspiration

Through your work, you often examine environmental issues. How do these kinds of controversial topics inspire your art?

I don’t really think environmental protection is something that’s controversial. Au contraire, I think it’s an issue that people really care about – they just need a good reason to talk about it.  

“I do try to integrate elements of visual familiarity into my work”

Do you think art can change the world?

Honestly I don’t know – but it is what I do best. There are instances where art has changed the course of history – but to say that my art will do that one day is very presumptuous.

Benjamin Von Wong On Hyper-realism and His Inspiration

You made a series inspired by Game of Thrones. Do you feel like pop culture is also a source of inspiration? Are there any other shows that you would want to make a photographic series about?

Haha, I made that over 5 years ago and it’s the only one I made. A lot has changed since then.

I do try to integrate elements of visual familiarity into my work, but fan fiction was really a one time thing.  

“Think about what you love doing, why love it and find a way to integrate those elements into your “job””

Your style is very distinctive, how did you develop your visual identity?

General trial and error I suppose. Learning what resonated with myself and others and the constant urge to push boundaries and do something I had never done before.

Benjamin Von Wong On Hyper-realism and His Inspiration

Of all your projects, which picture are you most proud of?

My proudest achievement was not a photograph, but a video I made that helped a little girl dying of a terminal degenerative brain disease raise 2 million dollars. Learn more about it here: www.savingeliza.com

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?

Think about what you love doing, why love it and find a way to integrate those elements into your “job” so that you don’t spend only evenings and weekends pursuing the things that you love.

Benjamin Von Wong On Hyper-realism and His Inspiration

What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?

I just shot a clothing awareness project in Cambodia – you can subscribe for some teaser content on www.worshipyourclothes.com !

 


Benjamin Von Wong On Hyper-realism and His Inspiration