The graphite camera of Paul Lung
When you look at these black and white photographs, for that is what you will think they are, you will be astounded. OPaul Lung can make a pencil do incredible things
There is something truly magical about that moment frozen in time that is the photographic image. Every nuance of expression and position forever captured on film, and made possible by depressing the camera shutter button at just the right moment. Even so, a microsecond’s delay can spell the difference between a great shot and an average snap. It should not, you might think, be possible to capture such clarity of image without a camera lens, but one Hong Kong artist proves otherwise.
Paul Lung uses only a simple graphite camera, better known as a pencil, to create his images. These photographic quality pictures can be so easily mistaken for black and white photography that many viewers have made that assumption, but where the mechanical camera can produce a clear image in micro seconds. The same thing can take Paul anything up to sixty hours to complete.
The stunning detail of this amazing artist’s work is breath taking. The cat pictures have every individual hair gloriously depicted, and the eyes are so lifelike that you could swear the expressions change dependant on the light. The images that he produces of people, many being family members or acquaintances, are also startling in their attention to detail. Paul even felt obliged to make videos of himself working in order to demonstrate to disbelieving people that what they saw really were drawings.
39-year-old Paul is not a full time artist, however, and has to fit the art around his day job in which he is a business design consultant. He maintains that his drawings are mostly done on A2 size paper, primarily using only a 0.5mm technical pencil. Paul really does enjoy this ‘graphite realism. Drawing, as he calls it, because Iitallows him to create millions of different textures with just a single pencil lead.
His utterly amazing pictures, whatever the subject, show things such as cloth textures, wrinkles and single hairs with such astounding clarity, that you have to marvel at the patience he must have for getting such detail just right. This love of the minutae shines through in all of his drawings, be they animals or people portraiture. The artist’s own emotions are clearly visible in every image, making it quite plain how much he loves his art.
So fond of his drawing is he that this dedicated guy will work all day at his normal job, then happily devote himself to the art for several hours every night. This dedication pays off though, because, just as the mechanical camera can capture an instant in time, Paul’s talent enables him to display the very essence of the subject on which he is working. Every cat has an obvious personality that shines through.
This, above all else, is what makes the work of this gifted man so very unforgettable. You feel yourself being drawn into his pictures, wanting to indulge in some banter with the people portrayed, or to stroke the luxurious fur of the cats. Once seen, these images are not forgotten, and we should be very grateful that nature sees fit to grace certain individuals with talents that give us such pleasure.
Can anybody really claim to be at all surprised that the works of this incredibly gifted artist are to be found on walls throughout the world, testament no doubt to his prodigious talent. One has to be awestruck with wonder that the hand and eye of Paul lung can bring out such minute, even photographic detail by simply applying his pencil to paper. He is himself a modest man, who fails perhaps to understand what all the fuss is about, because to him, they are simply his drawings. A truly remarkable talent.