I’ve mentioned and linked the work of artist and photographer Norm Yip on BAP Blog before.
I tend to be drawn by simplicity in art – distillations.. His models and subjects are presented without complication, directly, and without excessive visual noise. In several of his projects, ones featured here, he photographs Asian men, capturing them in moments of sexual form and beauty.
With an eye for the shot and his technical mastery behind the lens, Norm is a leading voice in the counternarrative. It’s with great pleasure that I am able to bring his personal perspective to you today.
BAP: Hi Norm, welcome. I’ve done a post on you before on the BAP Blog which many of the readers liked. It’s on the Asian Male Project. For the uninitiated could you please introduce yourself and explain what the project is?
NY: I was born in Canada to Chinese parents. My mother is from Hong Kong and my father is from Canton, China. I am an artist by heart. I am a visual person. I studied art in Saskatchewan and architecture in Toronto and worked as an architect off and on for several years after graduating, but I realized that my passion lied in both the fine arts and photography.
In 1999, while in Hong Kong, several friends of mine got together and rented out a small space that would eventually become the playing ground for my painting and photography. It was shortly thereafter that I began photographing my Asian friends; the idea initially was to try to emulate the work of American photographer Herb Ritts, in particular his black and white work with male nudes. I started to post my work online and within a few years, I had gained many fans that were eager to see Asian men as attractive and desirable. It was definitely new and refreshing.
In 2005, I published my first photography book ‘The Asian Male – 1.AM‘ on the subject of Asian male nudes/semi-nudes, and a follow-up book ‘The Asian Male – 2.AM‘ in 2007. Both books were considered revolutionary at the time. Asian men for the first time was being explored as artistic and tasteful subjects of photography. After taking a long break from publishing, I released my third photography book ‘The Asian Male – 3.AM‘ in 2014, which documents the evolution of my photography of Asian men.
BAP: Let’s have a closer look. Talk to us a bit about the tech and mental process that goes into producing these pieces.