Who he is:
Kent Lins, also known as k3nt and kentx, is a photographer born and living in Vancouver, Canada.
He’s shown his work in Istanbul and Dubrovnic, New York, Portland and Seattle, and in Canada in Vancouver, Kelowna, Fort St. John and Toronto.
He studied fine art at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus and in Istanbul, Turkey. His education in drawing, painting and sculpture provided a foundation for the training he did in photography in Vancouver. He continues with ongoing learning and dialogue among international photographers, sharing critiques and techniques.
What he does:
When Kent first took up photography, he was a newcomer to a northern Canadian frontier town of 13,000 people. He needed a visual way to navigate Fort St. John’s mud roads, gritty resilience, and violent undercurrent. He used a Kodak Instamatic to portray gang members and landscapes, looking to say the unexpected through unique angles and compositions. It was here that art’s ability to escape from the roughness of Fort St. John became apparent.
Kent upgraded his camera and moved on to other locales, finding intrigue in the textured surfaces of Europe, the US and Mexico. There the buildings, walls and water offered patterns, rhythms and light he could document, and also abstract from. “In abstraction there is a kind of ‘otherness.’ There’s an iconography (symbols and meanings) that suggest poetry, or a story. It’s like opening a book and reading it to take you elsewhere, and in doing so, to help you ask questions about who you are, where you’re going.” He gained an appreciation for how the act of looking inspires a person towards introspection and revelation.
He returned to painting in Canada, creating large-scale works on wood panel the size of people and rooms. His challenge: to capture the forceful energy of people, places and states of mind through a restricted palette and a large, dynamic surface. These paintings shimmer and vibrate because of their contrasting brushstrokes, diagonals and tones, controlling the speeds and directions in which our eyes enter the image and move around it. The energy shown transfers into the energy of viewing the works.
This has led to an exclusive interest in photography as Kent’s primary medium. He views the natural world and designs of cities as similar to the way he organized his paintings: nature’s and man’s placement of lines, grids, diagonals and structures can speed up and slow down movement in space.
In his day and night photos, streets and alleys direct us forward and back, buildings align with passageways and each other to slow and intercept movement, while houses and garages gather and contain human energy, and our aspirations.
Kent enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for images that capture space and movement, abstraction and energy, visual secrets hidden within the everyday.