Chinese photographer Lo Cheuk-lun turns shampooed hair into works of art

Ep.1/Dec 05, 2019

The Shanghai-based photographer is best known for bringing even the most mundane objects to life.

Shanghai-based photographer Lo Cheuk-lun has a knack for seeing the absurd in everyday objects.

Most of his clients are luxury brands, but his work straddles the line between commercial and fine art. They show the photographer’s uncanny ability to bring inanimate objects to life—even something as mundane as shampooed hair.


Lo started as a magazine photographer at the Hong Kong publication City Magazine in the early 2000s.

But when his company noticed the mainland Chinese market taking off, they moved him to Shanghai. In 2009, he opened his own studio and has been based there ever since.

(Read more: Hong Kong didn’t have jobs for him. So this rapper went to mainland China.)

Lo’s trajectory follows that of many artists who grew up in Hong Kong but relocated to the mainland because of the vast number of opportunities available to them.

Although Hong Kong remains an important financial hub, its population of seven million pales in comparison to the 1.3 billion-strong Chinese market.

“A big population means big demand,” Lo says, “and different industries need product photos to advertise.”

(Read more: Meet the photographer who shot the breathtaking stills from Wong Kar-wai’s ‘In the Mood for Love’)

A pragmatic move for sure, but as China’s middle class grows and people’s disposable income rises, Lo sees more opportunities to practice his craft.

“The standard for product shots back in the day were lower,” Lo says. “The product and background were simply keyed together unrealistically, and that was fine.

“But now, the final image has to look real,” he says. “Even if the background and product were taken separately, the final image has to look complete.”

To make an object look interesting, he’ll try simple tricks like hanging it in midair or throwing it into the air. Sometimes he’ll arrange objects into a living thing or shoot the shadow of a product instead of the body.

Check out more of his inventive images below.

PhotographyChinese artists
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Producer: Nicholas Ko

Mastering: Victor Peña