kabukicho-nights-prints

Ubisoft designer captures the mystique of Tokyo at night

Liam Wong, Ubisoft’s graphic design director, takes dope photographs. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The obvious temptation with Wong’s photography, which is posted on Instagram and sold on Society 6, is to liken it to his work in videogames. Insofar as games are our main point of reference when thinking about Wong’s aesthetic choices, this temptation is understandable. Yet doing so deprives the viewer of the opportunity to think about Wong’s photography on its own terms.

Wong’s photographs depict the real world—Tokyo, to be precise. It doesn’t always look as such, but that’s because of specific stylistic decisions. The photographer plays up aquamarine and pink shades in signage and lighting until they appear otherworldly. Backgrounds blend into panels of overexposed lights. But this is just our world, as seen with a different emphasis.

One of the perks of social networking, as least as it applies to images, is that one can see the world with different emphases. It’s not just that you can see places to which you will likely never go—though that is likely—but you can see places in ways you’ll never see them. To wit, annual Oscar winner in cinematography (sorry, Roger Deakins) Emmanuel Lubezki’s Instagram has become its own stylized travelogue. The same holds true for Wong’s work, though because he spends much of his time in the digital world such analog commentary is less frequently made.


Yet Wong’s vision of Tokyo—or London, for that matter—is decidedly digital, just in its own way. Lights and screens glow bright, tingeing all that surrounds them. Unless you buy one of Wong’s prints or tote bags (which are quite lovely, it must be said) the images live on screen. They are digital, because everything comes into contact with the digital at some point. They are not videogames, but simply digital spaces that are of this world.

See Wong’s photographs on his Instagram and purchase them on Society 6.

h/t Colossal