As a professional graphic designer, Kyle Yu certainly has an eye for visual compositions — prominent shapes, contrasting colors, symmetrical lines. He’s always on the lookout for intriguing angles and arrangements.
As a photographer, he often capitalizes on this geometric mindset.
Hailing from Hong Kong, Kyle attended university in Auckland, New Zealand, where he received a degree in Visual Communications. After graduating, he worked in Auckland and then in Tokyo before moving back to his hometown.
Given its density and varied architecture, Hong Kong is the perfect setting for a photographer like Kyle. When he’s not in the office, he spends his hours exploring unique buildings and discovering street scenes around the region.
A quick perusal of Kyle’s work reveals his admiration for Hong Kong’s distinct structural character. His images are dominated by leading lines and methodical color schemes and he utilizes a variety of urban elements — from windows and skyscrapers to street lines and even QR codes — to identify satisfying patterns within the chaos of the metropolis. Kyle has a touch of what he refers to as “symmetry OCD,” always ensuring that the horizontal and vertical lines within his shots end up as straight as possible.
Though architecture is his main artistic focus, Kyle finds himself drawn to the region’s energetic city life as well. His favorite area to shoot, for instance, is Sham Shui Po, a hectic district in the northwestern part of the Kowloon Peninsula characterized by bustling street markets and lively shopping centers. While photographing stationary buildings requires careful planning and set-up, a person or group in the foreground of a shot adds an extra layer of context to a photo. It helps him tell a different story.
While Hong Kong remains one of his favorite photographic subjects, Kyle’s job as a graphic designer has opened other doors for him, taking him on business trips to other regions around China. Even on short visits, he relishes the opportunity to get out and explore for a few hours, discovering new shots and subjects he wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Sometimes, he attends an Instagram meet-up and intermingles with other like-minded artists. He always finds that what can often feel like solitary work becomes more exciting among fellow photographers.
Much of Kyle’s feed is filled with modern skyscrapers, but in the future he hopes to travel to Meizhou, China, a large, eastern city that offers unique, traditional housing to photograph. He’s constantly searching for new and exciting subject matter.
Though Kyle enjoys a traditional career as a designer, he’s created an artistic outlet for himself through his photography. To aspiring photographers, he stresses the importance of practice, finding time to shoot, and discovering new techniques and compositions.
And, he emphasizes, at the heart of every creative endeavor lies the spirit of exploration. Those who succeed are the dreamers who get out search for something new, something that will excite, and something that will inspire.
A fellow dreamer, Kyle continues to explore.
Looking to explore more of Hong Kong? Check out our comprehensive guide to China’s architectural hub.