JONATHAN CHERRY: What got you started with photography?
HTET T SAN: My first interest in photography started at 2007. Back then, I was a medical student in Burma who is passionate about art and didn’t enjoy my school life. So, I went to a media school as a mental escape in mornings. There, I was introduced to photography in a 2 hours- lecture and inspired. I bought my first camera and started taking pictures without a serious purpose.It was in 2008 I was offered a scholarship to study photography in USA. I hopped on the plane by dropping out of medical school while I was almost becoming a doctor. It was all instant and since then, photography and I are together. It becomes my soul mate which is a complicated relationship but I can’t live without it.
JC: Any emerging artists inspiring you at the moment?
HTS: I love the works of Irina Werning. I am a great fan of her Back to the future project and even Chini. Also, Natsumi Hayashi, who made my dreams come true of levitation in daily life so has Martin Stranker. I came across his website a while ago and man he is amazing my favorites are his single silhouette figure portraits in huge space with unique compositions.
JC: Whats your current project all about?
HTS: Emotion/Untold Stories is my latest ongoing personal project, my experiment on story-telling via silence with single photographs. We all are familiar with silence being played a major part of our emotion. When everything fell so quiet, it can burst out so loudly and clearly
JC: Where are you currently living and how is it shaping you?
HTS: It’s been over a year that I relocated to New York City with very little money in hand. It was not easy in my earlier days especially since there are a vast amount of talented people here searching for the same thing. I went through a lot of experience and have been learning a lot. But, I am glad that I challenged myself to settle in a tough ground. I am becoming more confident and consider myself lucky that I am back on the track again.
JC: One piece of advice to recent photography graduates?
HTS: What I think as very important is to try many different things until you find what you love and develop your style. My advice would be “Don’t absorb everything you learned. It might interrupt your creativity.” Keep only those that can be applied to you and leave a personal space for yourself to grow.
JC: Any big plans for 2012?
HTS: Hmm… good question. I have some projects in mind that I need to develop to be presented visually. If things are favorable, I would be setting up a studio soon. Also, more marketing.
JC: Favourite tree?
HTS: Willow Trees! The bigger the better. I also like Giant Oak Trees.