Adrian Chong Yeak has had a lifelong fascination with the human form, through his formative years as a dancer and performer to his current life as a photographer. It makes sense, then, that his debut photographic exhibition is a collection of spectacular nude portraits, fittingly titled The Form Series.

Yeak didn’t have to look too far beyond his circle of friends – fellow dancers, models and other fit entertainment industry types – when it came to scouting for models.

“At first I was like, how am I supposed to go up to someone and say, ‘Want to get your kit off so I can take pics of ya?’ I decided to put my feelers out there and randomly bring it up to see who would be keen.,” Yeak told the Star Observer.

“I just don’t like friends feeling obliged or left with no option to say no, so I was struggling to get 12 models. Then I was encouraged by friends to just send an email to everyone [asking them to take part]. Being in the entrainment industry for over 15 years, I found I had a pretty big list of people to send this email to. I found that the people I thought would say no were all the first ones to get back to me with a yes!”

Given his extensive experience as a dancer, we wondered whether Yeak found he had a particular knack behind the lens for capturing his models in all their lithe, long-limbed beauty. Does he think his dancer’s background gives him an innate understanding of the human form?

“I come up with poses like its choreography – ‘this arm goes here and that leg goes there’. Come to think of it, I do actually say to the models before we start shooting, ‘Let’s go through the chorey first and lock down the poses’. I like to creative shapes and movement so being a dancer I would communicate what I’m after by saying things like ‘contract your chest’ and ‘yank that arm’. I guess, once a dancer always a dancer.”

The 20 models, both male and female, are shot in classic black and white in what Yeak himself has described as a tribute to the work of iconic gay photographer Herb Ritts. Yeak himself is gay, and with his models of both sexes captured so spectacularly, does he see any division between photographing each of the sexes? Can he appreciate the beauty in both equally?

“Photographing males and females is completely different, as you would imagine – and I totally can see beauty in both. Each gender has something different to capture,” he said.

“The female form is absolutely amazing to shoot: the lines, curves and shadows are always so exquisite. The male form has all the strength and the rough curves and random edges that create the most amazing shadows and lines.

“There was never a point in the process that I thought I would only be shooting one gender.”

INFO: The Form Series, November 9-18, Caravan Art Studio, Richmond.

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