The Gay Faces of Taiwan – Sztsu Male Photography – 私處 l 男相

The Gay Faces of Taiwan - Sztsu Male Photography

This month MQ is focusing on local art and artists within the gay community.  For this week, we are featuring Sztsu, a photographer from Taiwan who exclusively photographs gay men.  His work focuses heavily on texture and color pairing his subjects with some creative outfits (or lack there of) to create some pretty stunning photos.  We ran into his work in a local gallery in Taizhong, Taiwan and knew instantly that we wanted to hear more about his work.  Here is a bit of insight into Sztsu’s background and his inspiration behind his work photographing the many gay faces of Taiwan.  (Interview Translated from Chinese)

Can you first give a short introduction about yourself?  What are your interests, including your location and past life/work experience?

The Gay Faces of Taiwan - Sztsu Male Photography - 私處 l 男相 1

“My name is Sueo Tokimori (時盛末生), my artist name of course. I also go by Aoame Nakagawara (仲河原青雨), both of which are Japanese. The meaning within my Kanji (Japanese Characters) represent “revolution”.  My interest are probably simply wandering around, doing photography, and pondering really difficult philosophies about life.

I am from Taipei, but I worked in Japan for 5 years, and I am now living in Taizhong City.  So far, I am liking the slower pace of life. During my time as a student I mostly worked in the restaurant industry, and after my military service (required in Taiwan), I went to Japan on a working holiday visa where I worked in tourism.   So naturally I have been to a number of areas around Japan. Later on, because of work, I returned to Taiwan to work in advertising, and am now opening my own art studio to focus on culture and healthy living.”


How do you describe the theme/style for your artwork? Do you have any artist or themes that inspire your style?

“So much of my artwork, is my philosophy of life. ­ I like to catch a taste of someone’s “something”, that is, a kind temperature of them (my subjects), a continuous simmer of emotion. I don’t blindly follow what is popular. My work perhaps is more for the minority of people, but I still have my own market of fans (laughs).  Actually, I wasn’t born from an artistic background, and in university I studied Information Management, and then I went to Japan for graduate school. 

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So, I take a number of elements of my work from Japan. I like a lot of people and artwork, and I have studied a lot of artwork, but I usually forget them pretty quickly. When I do photography, I don’t specifically focus on one thing, more just a moment that I like. I just take photos, that’s it, and surprisingly, some people like the style of my work!

When did you first become interested in photographing gay people?

“I have already answered this question about 30 times! I am not gay, and am married with a two year old. I remember the first time I did gay photography was when I agreed to take wedding pictures for these two lesbians under a beautiful sunset. We had an argument over a mosquito, that’s why I didn’t want to do weddings anymore. From there I began doing gay body photography. I was surprised how confident and comfortable gays are (and me being lazy). You ask them to undress, and they will take their clothes off – and because it is naked photography, I don’t need to prepare any place for them to change their clothes (my confession…)”

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How have people reacted to your work? Do you receive any criticism, good or bad?

“My parents are quite against it, and honestly they would prefer me to work in a bank or even a part­ time job at a gas station – anything would be better than being a photographer.  I receive a handful of both compliments and criticisms, which could either cheer me up or make me feel pretty awful.

Sometimes, I’ll prank my models for fun (confessing again). As for my photography, it is not mainstream. My photos don’t have pretty light filters, or the muscular bodies that gays like, nor models with perfect skin. Some even say that I don’t know how to use Photoshop properly. But the reason why I like it so much is because I think the patterns and details of people’s skin are different and beautiful, I’d prefer to capture all of it. This also makes it harder for me to find a model. But, if someone likes my work, then they will like my style and help me. And even though I take photos of naked models, it doesn’t feel sexual at all – that’s what I am proud of.”

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How has your work evolved over time? Do you have any new inspirations or projects you want to work on?

“My art (?), rather who knows.  I like to play with new kinds of elements. But the one thing I like to keep constant is having models that all have a unique story to tell, and these stories are ones that won’t put you to sleep. So our cooperation has a special kind of feeling that I never get bored of. If they are regular old models, to be blunt, then my work wouldn’t have much “soul” to speak of, and would be brought to a pretty abrupt end. In the future, I want to have a a bit more “irony”, and a bit more, “rebellion” against humanity in my work. I want to have a greater viewpoint of human kind, but I still don’t think I can make money from it.”

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What photograph are you most proud of?

“The Crow Series! (below) To be honest, my soul has a lot of “crow” in it. I like this one in particular because it has a bit of horror – but I also put a lot of effort into maintaining a more delicate look.”

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What/who do you want to photograph next?

“I want to do something relating to penises and table manners, ­in the 69 position on a table top. Penises are a GOOD thing, and I want to feature a different one in each shot, (or more than one). Honestly, right now male body photography is something Taiwanese society has a hard time accepting. But if Taiwanese see girls they get a rush – it makes me a bit annoyed. So I want to promote and develop male photography too. I also created a Facebook group for male body photography, and I decline the females.  It’s for male photography only.”

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Do you have any thoughts or comments you want to give to your audience?

“I press the shutter, it isn’t just a moment, it’s my life philosophy and experience. This is my belief that an image copies, but I can’t be copied. You may not like my work, but please continue to love yourself and your soul (bow out).”

<– Click Images Below To Open Gallery –>

[ You can view Sztsu’s Full Portfolio on Facebook ]

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時盛末生-台灣同志的臉龐- 男性攝影師 私處 l 男相

時盛末生-這個月的MaleQ人物專訪將帶大家認識當地同志圈的藝術及藝術家。 這一週,是台灣當地的男性同志攝影師,時盛末生(sueo tokimori)。他的作品著重在於模特的質地以及顏色調和搭配上創意的造型(或是沒有任何衣服)展現出令人驚豔的攝影作品。我們偶然在一間位在台灣台中的畫廊裡遇見他的作品,並且幾乎是立即地想要知道更多有關於他的作品內容。接下來將介紹到時盛末生的出身背景,以及他拍攝同志作品背後的靈感和故事。 時盛末生介紹 請你先介紹一下自己嗎? 你的興趣、你住哪個城市、還有你的工作經驗和關於你的藝術? 「我是時盛末生(sueo tokimori)這當然是藝名啊!另外一個名字是仲河原青雨,都是日文名字,日本文化中的漢字(kanji)來說象徵著末日重生的意思,興趣大概是到處流浪、攝影、思考很複雜的人生哲理。我是台北人,但是在日本工作近五年,目前定居在台中市,喜歡步調慢的生活。學生時代工作大多以餐飲業為主,退伍後第一個工作,便是去日本當勞工(Working Holidays),從事旅遊觀光業,走遍很多個日本城鄉,最後因生涯規劃回台灣從事廣告業,目前則是自己開立工作室,從事影像藝術創作維生。」 怎麼描敘你的作品主題和風格?你有任何啟發你的藝術風格的藝術家或藝術主題? 「與其說我的藝術是工作,不如說是我的生活哲學,我喜歡有人味道的東西,那是一種溫度、一種持續發酵的情感,不盲目追求流行的技法,也許不受大眾歡迎,但我還是有自己的市場的(笑),其實我並非藝術背景出身,我大學念資訊管理,研究所念日本的研究所,多少帶點日本元素。」 「我喜歡很多藝術人與作品,但我會參考,看完就忘記,然後創作的時候,也沒特別喜好,只是當下覺得喜歡,就按下快門,僅止於此,意外地沒想到蠻多人喜歡的。」 是什麼讓你對同志的攝影感到興趣? 「問題我大概回答有30次了吧!我不是同志,已婚還有兩歲的小孩,記得第一次在絕美的夕陽美景下拍攝女同志婚紗時,卻被女模特投訴,只因為一隻蚊子,從此改變了我的人生,展開了我的同志人體攝影。但令我訝異的是,同志對於身體的展露與自信高過於其他人,對懶散的我而言,叫他們脫衣服就會脫衣服,脫褲子就會脫褲子,而且還不用準備換衣服的地方。(懺悔中)」 有任何人對你的藝術工作有什麼反應嗎?你有收過好的評價或不好的評價嗎? 「父母很反對,老實說,他們寧願我在銀行上班,甚至在加油站打工也比當攝影師好。好的評價與不好的評價都很多,會開心也會沮喪,然後以整model為樂(再次懺悔),不過攝影作品來說,我的還是非主流,沒有漂亮的光質,沒有同志喜歡的肌肉肉體,不喜歡磨皮甚至被說不會使用photoshop,因為我覺得皮膚的紋路與細節是每個人擁有得特別美,我寧願全數保留,但是也因為如此,我的代價是很難找到model,不過喜歡我的人非常喜歡,甚至我脫光一個model的衣服拍攝,也不會有情色感,這是我驕傲的地方。」 你的藝術怎麼發展的?你未來想要朝向什麼樣的風格? 「我的藝術(?)不如說我的鬧劇,喜歡玩弄很多新的元素,唯一不變的是,我找models都是有故事的人,那個故事是會讓我興奮到睡不著覺的人,所以合作起來特別有感覺,也不會無聊。若是一般的model,老實說,作品是沒靈魂的,而且是會草草結束。 未來風格,我還是想留下一些略帶嘲諷,卻有點反叛又帶點思考人性的作品,還是無法賺錢的東西。」 你最滿意的作品是什麼? 「烏鴉系列。」 「老實說,我的靈魂有很大的烏鴉元素,討人厭但是還是努力維持的嬌貴的樣子。」 下次你想要拍什麼人或主題? 「關於陰莖餐桌禮儀的69種69姿勢,陰莖是個好東西,每個至少要有一隻,或一隻以上(誤),老實說男體攝影到目前台灣社會還是很難被接受,女體卻是趨之若鶩,這讓我很不爽,所以我更利至於發展與推廣,我甚至有創了一個臉書的男體攝影社團,謝絕所有女性。(小心眼)」 時盛末生作品…


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  1. If I may make a suggestion for some closeup detailed photos…

    I find the wrinkled skin of the scrotum to be very interesting. I would think that ultra closeups of this part of the male would be groundbreaking.