Growing up in Taiwan, Hubert Kang found himself drawn towards the diversity the world offered. When he moved to Canada as a teenager, he would observe people from different walks of life and study all types of cultures. He eventually found that photography was the key that allowed him to have the opportunity to really get to know people in a short amount of time. He was able to express himself through his art, especially things that aren’t tangible such as emotions and energy.
“Photography to me is such a useful universal language that allows me to communicate and understand people as well as myself. I am deeply curious about people and places. Photography gives me the key to connect with them,” he said.
Kang is now an industry leading photographer, specializing in documentary and advertising photography. He has worked with major brands including Fairmont Hotels and Destination Canada, had his work featured in many prolific publications, like The Globe and Mail, and worked with celebrated individuals, such as Emmy Award-winning actress Annie Murphy on a campaign for Nintendo America, as well as the icon Snoop Dogg when launching the hip-hop artist’s 19 Crimes wine in Canada.
When working on the 19 Crimes campaign, Kang teamed up with renowned artist Carson Ting to create a series of images named Snoop Uncorked to help launch 19 Crimes red wine. Ting is an international award-winning illustrator who approached Kang to come on board this esteemed project. Kang’s style of gritty black and white photography with storytelling elements was exactly the right style for this project.
“It’s a huge honor to launch 19 Crimes wine with Snoop Dogg. He is a cultural icon so it meant a lot to create cool art for his brand,” said Kang.
This was a very artistic project for Kang, who was able to display his vast photography talents and mold his skills into many exciting images that incorporated illustrations and stop motion, meaning every single frame in the final video is a still photograph. Kang had to shoot tens of thousands of images to make it work, then organize and log them, to turn into a stop motion video. The images ended up looking free and fun, but it took an outstanding amount of preparation and organization to pull off such a feat, all while under a tight deadline. The photos were not only used for the stop motion video, but also print publications, social media, and online, immediately capturing the eye and drawing viewers to 19 Crimes.
“This project was an innovative way to take photography to many different levels. Stop motion requires the compilation of many frames of stills, with each frame working as a stand alone photograph. I was ambitious in choosing to use this technique, but it also gave the project a very energetic look and feel that isn’t common in just still photography,” said Kang. “I also really enjoyed working with illustrator Chairman Ting as it gives me a fresh perspective on what a photograph can be.”
This campaign was a huge success. Not only did it contribute to the launch of 19 Crimes in Canada and marketed across the country, it won multiple awards in multiple categories. Kang took home the prestigious Applied Arts Awards and Communication Arts Awards for his fresh take on stop motion, and he is now regularly asked by clients to recreate this unique style, as evidenced by his recent work for the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer team.
“I feel very proud of this success and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Chairman Ting for such a cool client, especially with Snoop Dogg’s involvement. I am proud of the innovation we created under the tight time crunch, and the risk we were willing to take because of our insistence on quality and promise to ourselves as artists,” he said.
If you would like to know more about Kang’s award-winning work on the 19 Crimes shoot, you can read Chairman Ting’s behind-the-scenes take here.
Photo by Peter Yang