Saturday, December 31, 2011
Trust Your Eyes: Patrick Keuanu
'I never think that my story and where I came from is painful. It only makes me appreciate life more. Looking back on my life I know that I have come very far, I work hard for everything I have. I would never trade anything for the experience that I have.'
Not everyone sees the world through through such a beautiful lens as that of Patrick Keuanu. The world is full of people in pain, lonely, ill, broken. Life, and the experiences it frequently drags us through, can often blurry and bloody the crystalline lens making everything we see dull and lifeless. These experiences however sometimes have the opposite effect. For some, these same experiences cause the lens to seek out beauty, making things look more vibrant, more colorful and more alive.
'I can honestly say that art and photography is my passion. I love everything about it. It's part of whom I am and what I am born to do. Beside painting and photography, I also enjoy modeling. I think being in front of the camera really helps me understand the modeling side of the business. I am able to coach and become a better creative director and photographer.'
2 shots below by Chi Hong Wong
Patrick Keuanu was born on April 4th into a family of nine children in Khammouane, Laos, a small land-lock country in the heart of Southeast Asia locate in between Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. He is the seventh of the nine children in his family. When the war in Southeast Asia ended in 1975, his family decided to leave Laos. Shortly before his fourth birthday, they moved to nearby Thailand with the hope for a better life. His family was part of the Laotian refugees that was admitted in the city of Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, Na Pho Refugee Camp in Northeastern Thailand in the 80s.
Living in a Refugee camp did not allow Keuanu a normal childhood. There were no toys or video games to play with. Luxury of any kind was not a consideration. There were just the basics, food and shelter. One thing Keuanu was fortunate enough to have was a notebook and pencil. These became his drawing tools and art became his passion.
While living in Na Pho Refugee Camp, Keuanu was fascinated by the beautiful mural painting that was on the wall and the art within the Lao Temple, these inspired him to learn about art. Even within these surroundings a passion grew for art, design, and photography not only was planted, but was nurtured and grew.
Keuanu by Ethan James
With help from the United States government, Keuanu and his family were able to come to finally make it to the US to begin for a new life. When they arrived in the States in 1989 they settled in Nashville, Tennessee. After he graduated from high school, Keuanu was awarded a scholarship to attend Savannah College of Art and Design where he earned his bachelor of fine arts degree in painting in 2001.
Keuanu started taking photos as hobby in high school while taking art classes. After college he worked as a professional painter, selling his art as a self-employed artist. About a year later Keuanu started taking photography more seriously, and has been shooting professionally for 6 years now
Below: Keuanu by Quar B
'Keuanu is such a loving and caring soul!!!'
'What makes a photo shoot successful to me is that you have to know what you are looking for. When you are on set shooting, you should know what you want. Being able to direct models is very helpful. Go after your ideas and concepts. Trust your eyes and know what works and don't work. When you are shooting try not to control models too much. Let them do their thing so they can be more comfortable with themselves. It's important that your subject is comfortable with you and they can perform better on set.'
Below: Two Self Portraits by Keuanu
'Being the person that has been through some hard times growing up makes me a strong, giving, and caring person. I believe that God has a purpose for me. He has giving me the gift, creative mind, and the ability to create stories, whether it is through painting or photography so one day I can make a difference in peoples lives.'
Patrick Keuanu: The Model
Patrick Keuanu: The Photographer
Patrick Keuanu blog & Official Site