Tommy ‘Yue Qiang’ Lei. 雷悦強. (b.1988)
Hong Kong-raised. Los Angeles-based. As featured on Chairish Best of Spring 2021 Photography, Saatchi Best of Photography in 2021, Architectural Digest, Domino and Clever.
Tommy picked up my first camera when he was graduating from high school. He’s never been caught without his camera since. His photography work mainly stems from a fervent desire to beautify the mundane; to celebrate the ordinary by making them extraordinary. There is an innate optimism, purity and togetherness.
He aspires to evoke a deeper level of intrinsic connection between the image and the viewer, whether it be a bystander or an audience. A photo is a film-like canvas for him, a painting in fluid motion, a visual poetic text. With a sense of intrigue and resonance that comes from a visceral, emotional, and nourishing place.
What makes the entire creative process rewarding for Tommy is that no single photo can be recreated; it is a literal timestamp. His body of work contains no staged or manipulated work (unless otherwise stated). Everything is as is, real time, real life.
He largely credits his immigrant upbringing and Chinese background as a major influence in how he approaches photography as both practice and visual language. Tommy’s wide range of captivating, limited-edition prints are collected from coast to coast as well as other countries including Canada, Italy, and South Korea.