Taiwan high school student wins two int’l photo awards

"Mess" was taken at a restaurant in Kaohsiung City. It depicts couples inside and outside the bar through a window, with the partners of each pair at different distances from each other. (Courtesy of Michael Huang)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Michael Huang, a 12th-grader from Taichung, recently won two prizes at the International Photography Awards.

Huang submitted two photographs taken with his cellphone the day before the deadline and received honorable mentions about them.

Huang is a senior at the Affiliated Experimental High School of Tunghai University, in Taichung. Liberty Times reported that Huang accidentally submitted his photos in the “Pro” category and only became aware of it when the organization notified him.

He called his photographs “Mess” and “Disconnected”.

“Mess” was taken at a restaurant in Kaohsiung City. It depicts couples inside and outside the bar through a window, with the partners of each pair at different distances from each other.

The photograph is meant to represent the various levels of intimacy throughout the stages of a romantic relationship, Huang said.

“Disconnected” was taken in front of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in South Korea.

"Disconnected" was taken in front of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in South Korea. (Courtesy of Michael Huang)
“Disconnected” was taken in front of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in South Korea. (Courtesy of Michael Huang)

Huang said the structure of Disconnected made him reflect on how people in modern society would be disconnected without their cellphones. People rely on cellphones for almost everything, especially communicate with others.

Huang’s inspiration comes from his uncle who is a professional photographer. Huang said that he has been exposed to cameras since he was in kindergarten.

Since last year, he started taking photos with his cellphone as a way of expressing himself, he said.

“When we see things with our own eyes, we get a complete picture, but through the lens, the photographer can focus the viewer’s attention on whatever they want,” Huang said, adding that this aspect of photography is what appeals to him the most.

Huang told CNA reporters that he doesn’t plan on taking pictures, it just happens spontaneously when he sees something that catches his attention.

Huang will showcase approximately 80 of his photographs at the, “I’ve heard … Humans are Social Animals” exhibition on Nov. 8-29, at his High School.

Huang said he hopes his work can change people’s outlook on life and he hopes to work in a field related to photography after high school, reported UDN.

By Bénédicte Yenyi Mulumba, special to The China Post