J.T. HWANG 黃榮德
Jung-Te Hwang was born in Taiwan in 1936 and has resided in New York for the past 30 years. Currently an amateur photographer, he previously worked in the business of real estate development and construction management. The founder of Hwang Gallery, Hwang was the honorary president of the Taiwan Photography Association in Greater New York and has dabbled in photography for over 50 years, capturing various subjects and deeds through the lens of his camera. He often travels to remote and exotic locations, capturing each region’s unique culture, relics, and beautiful landscapes.
Although Hwang is a lover of landscape photography and a virtuoso of close-up photography, his interest has recently veered towards the abstract as he challenges and expands his photography skills. His pictures make use of unique perspectives to create beautiful and extraordinary masterpieces. His distinctive point-of-view in photography allows viewers to truly immerse themselves in the pictures and fully experience the sheer magnitude and magnificence of the image. It is due to this appreciation of how utterly original his pieces are in comparison to the average photographer that people are instinctively drawn towards his photography.
The pictures of “Surfing” solo exhibition were taken at the Banzai Pipeline of Oahu, Hawaii during the 2015 Billabong Pipe Masters, the final leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The reefs of Banzai Pipeline are the reasons for the gigantic curls of water that allow surfers to tube ride. The waves around the Pipeline are considered to be one of the most treacherous waves around the world, and even for experienced surfers, the Banzai Pipeline is perceived as a challenge. This is the first time that he has tried extreme sports photography. Due to the changing conditions of natural lighting, Hwang had to move constantly with his equipment to get the best lighting and images. The difficult tread, as well as the intermittent rain and sultry weather, added to the many physical difficulties of the shooting process. Hwang had to cope with carrying heavy equipment on soft sand, as well as wearing a stuffy raincoat in 82 to 86 degrees of weather during his photo shoot.
It is hard for the photographer to make much preparations when the subjects he wants to photograph are an ever-changing sea and surfers who come and go quickly, following the waves. When faced with such challenges, the photographer can only rely on artistic audacity as well as a great eye for detail. However, Hwang sees such challenges as an appealing facet of surfing photography. He believes that while surfing photography can be arduous, to him it is a chance for him to hone his skills and test his proficiency in focusing, exposure, and composition. It is also a platform that allows him to interpret the motions and movements o surfers through his own distinctive artistic point-of-view. Hwang hopes that his works can inspire the viewers to challenge themselves to push their limits and excel in their respective fields. In addition to providing viewers with a chance to admire the wondrous physical undertakings of the surfers, Hwang’s solo exhibition, “Surfing” also showcases the beauty of the sea, with its towering waves and shattered breakers.
The series “From Mountains to Monuments: The Hidden Corners of China” showcases the pictures he has taken at some of the most remote regions of China, including Daocheng Yading, known as Shangri-la on the Tibetan Plateau (which possesses an average altitude of 4,000 to 5,000 meters); the towering mountains in northern Xinjiang; the rice terrace fields of Yuanyang; fishermen fishing on Nanxi River, one of the most scenic rivers in China; the serene canal towns of southern, and the expansive kelp cultivation areas on the shoals of Xiapu, etc. His pictures capture these scenic locations in their full glory and viewers are able to savor the distinctive beauty of each, from the grandeur of the terrace fields to the majestic allure of the Tibetan Plateau.
In addition to photographing natural landscapes, Hwang has also devoted himself to taking pictures of and studying cultural landscapes. In recent years, China has undergone many transformations, both geographically and sociologically. Hwang’s pictures are intended as a visual testimony and an invaluable historical record of what may soon be evanescent sights. His photographs shed light on rare cultural phenomena and social rituals, such as the sight of old women with bound feet at Tuzhangfang and the fire festivals of the Yi ethnic group in Yunnan. Through his pictures, the observer can become more acquainted with the natural and cultural landscape of China, and his incredible eye for aesthetics adds a certain aura to the bucolic sights of China.
紐約<黃氏藝廊>創辦人黃榮德 (Jung-Te Hwang) 先生 1936年出生於台灣，旅居紐約30年，從事地產開發及營建管理的工作，是一位業餘攝影愛好者。曾擔任紐約地區台灣攝影學會會長，涉獵攝影50餘年，他經常旅遊世界各地並深入偏僻尚待開發的地方，拍攝當地的人文風俗習慣、古蹟及幽美風光，在其豐富的人生歲月中，記錄了無數的事蹟及見證。
黃榮德「衝浪」系列攝影作品所捕捉的是2015年度夏威夷(Hawaii)歐胡島(Oahu)衝浪超級盃(Super Bowl)衝浪三冠王大賽 (Vans Triple Crown of Surfing)其中一場位於盆栽通道 (Banzai Pipeline)所舉行的賽事-「比拉朋管浪大師賽Billabong Pipe Masters」。由於Banzai Pipeline海底特殊的地質構造，巨浪在這裡會形成筒狀，衝浪者能衝進這些筒狀巨浪裡，這裡的巨浪被認為是世界上最危險的浪潮之一，就算對於經驗豐富的衝浪高手， Banzai Pipeline也是具有高度挑戰性的。
這是黃榮德第一次挑戰極限運動的攝影。衝浪是一種劇烈、挑戰人體極限的高危險性運動, 而極限運動攝影所要呈現的, 則是這種運動驚心動魄的動態美感以及震撼的視覺衝擊。當衝浪者在浪巔出現後, 攝影師必須在一秒鐘內鎖定目標然後跟拍, 因為在海浪和風力足夠大的時候，衝浪者的動作非常快，平均三秒內即消逝，如果照片想呈現臨場感的緊湊及動感，攝影師需要非常好的抓拍功力和足夠的快門速度，一整天的拍攝，目力須不斷觀察和追隨衝浪者, 手速更須時時緊張地準備著, 避免損失每一次的機會。
拍攝對象是多變的海洋和伺機而動的衝浪者, 這使得攝影師難以做出任何計畫,只能膽大心細以對, 但對黃榮德來說,這正是衝浪攝影的魅力所在。他說, 衝浪攝影雖然辛苦, 但這是他對自己更上一層樓的期許, 除了挑戰自己在對焦、曝光、構圖等攝影技術上的純熟度, 他也透過自己獨特的角度去詮釋衝浪者的英姿, 並且希望他的作品能激勵觀賞者在各自不同的專業領域中, 超越自我極限。
黃榮德的「青山綠水 ●人間古厝」系列作品中所展出的則是他至中國內陸偏遠地區所拍攝的作品，例如: 素有“香格里拉”美譽的青康藏高原稻城亞丁景區 (平均海拔在四千到五千多公尺)、北疆江布拉克山壯闊的山色、如史詩般宏偉的元陽梯田、有“天下第一水”之稱的楠溪江晨曦捕魚悠景和 雲霧之鄉茗嶴山多變的面貌、福建霞浦淺灘廣闊的海帶養殖、以及江南水鄉古色古香如畫的風情等等。這些引人入勝的風景在他的照片中都一覽無遺。