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Ashley Woo

Ashley Woo

Meet designer and photographer from Hong Kong, Ashley Woo.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ashley Woo, I am a Hong Kong-based multi-media designer and photographer. I like to travel, art, movie, books, vintage clothes and I like to be under the water. Basically, I am curious about everything and I am also a dreamer and an over-thinker.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Hong Kong is an overcrowded and noisy city filled with retail chains in the streets. Space is small and new buildings are being put up every day, therefore you will always hear the sounds of drilling and banging everywhere. Trust me, if you live here, sometimes all you need is to escape everything and find your own quiet place.

 

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best I would say is freedom. Well, I mean still free. I am not trying to talk about something political here but did you read the book 1984 by George Orwell? Basically, I think the stability of a place where the people live will directly affect the interest and behaviors of the people who live there. Consequently, I am so blessed that I was born in Hong Kong and this is a place which I can create (think) whatever I want to, this is basic but vital.

The worst thing I would say is over- actuality. Hong Kong is a materialistic society; peoples over-consumerism is the worst thing Ive ever seen before. I am not saying people should not be down-to-earth, but over-actuality can kill peoples creativity. I do think day-dreaming is actually important to everyone!

 

I am so blessed that I was born in Hong Kong and this is a place which I can create (think) whatever I want to, this is basic but vital.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Adventurous. Independence. Rebellious.

 

How did you start your career in art?

Basically, I dont think my career is in art right now but I wish it will be in the future. I mean, I am working in an e-commerce clothing website and brands, providing commercial campaigns and designs. I am still finding a better way on how to permeate my art sense on commercials and campaigns to make it better. This is hard but I am trying to find my style. With that being said, I usually update my personal works in my leisure time. I always think about strange logic, which doesn’t make sense or imagine some place which doesn’t exist. I want to share my thoughts with people but I am not a good storyteller. Therefore I would rather choose to express my ideas through visuals and for me, this is way simpler than talking. I guess this is why I will keep doing my works.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Yes, there are and I am so grateful about it. But I just tell my friends and family that I am a designer and I take pictures, I didn’t really tell them the details of what my job is about. I usually let them know when my projects are done or I think I did a great job.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I would like to meet and collaborate with people around the world who love art and design from the bottom of their hearts. I would be so glad if I can meet them and if we can create something together.  Another personal ambition I have would be to keep my works truthful and pure. I want to let my works speak for me because I am not a person who verbally expresses things well. To keep learning and continue moving ahead, maybe someday I can create something which can touch peoples hearts and inspire others.

 

To keep learning and continue moving ahead, maybe someday I can create something which can touch peoples hearts and inspire others.

 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

So many geniuses in this world I cant just pick one! But right now I would really want to meet Simon Porte Jacquemus, I definitely want to give him a big hug and tell him I love his works so very much.

His works are blowing my mind, I can see both joy and passion in his works and personality, and I think this is his a so-called attraction. It will mean a lot to me if I can be his photographer or collaborate with him.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Clever, independent, and assertive. My mum and my sister are always like that.

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

My violin teacher is definitely my role model when I was young. Her name is Margret, shes my goddess and I would really want to be like her in those couple of years – with a strong characteristic, charm, beauty, confidence, and elegance. I would not forget the shiny moments when she performs on stage.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

Actually, I don’t think there are gender problems in my industry. Maybe I am lucky that I am free to do whatever I want to do. With that being said, a few months ago, I applied for a photography assistant position. When I went to the interview they kept asking me “Do you play any sports and will you be able to move heavy things?” They told me that a boy is better than a girl for this position because the job requires carrying lighting equipment that is heavy and expensive. I guess it makes sense in their point of view but overall I don’t think this is a problem. I can always find a way or find someone to help.

 

When I went to the interview they kept asking me “Do you play any sports and will you be able to move heavy things?” They told me that a boy is better than a girl for this position because the job requires carrying lighting equipment that is heavy and expensive.

 

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Be a truthful and kind person. Create things that will bring you joy no matter how difficult it is. I am quite a “do it first and dont think too much kind of person. Try to use your own way to express yourself. Last but not least, don’t forget to be a dreamer.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Ashley Woo.

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