Antonio Leong is a local photographer featured in several exhibitions here in Macau. His interest in photography began only four or five years ago, when he and his friends traveled to China and started taking pictures. This led to his work being featured in National Geographic as an editors’ selection, as well as his own exhibitions in Macau, including a solo exhibition last year, La Vie en Macau (Life in Macau). The exhibition showcased around 30 pieces of his work depicting everyday life in the city.
How did the opportunity for your first exhibition come about?
It was through Facebook actually; the first exhibition was in Korea. I shared my work initially on my personal Facebook, and some friends saw it and they invited me to be the representative from the Macau tourism office in Korea, they liked the work and they initiated the plan. And the second exhibition was something similar, they wanted to sell the gastronomy of Macau, so we did a photo and gastronomy exhibition in Paris, this is the main theme of the exhibition. And the last one happened during last year, it was quite sudden, one day I passed by for coffee and I took some pictures of an event for a Chinese valentine and I shared on Facebook and people kept on sharing and the representative saw it and liked it and started to look at more of my work and they hired me for an exhibition.
What about your National Geographic editors’ pick pictures?
That was initially just for fun because I saw that people can just upload photos for the National Geographic website. And I saw a specific website where you can share your work—it’s a platform called Your Shot. So I started sharing my work and the editors each day would pick their favorites and I got featured on some. Initially I shared any kind of work, but now I specifically share work from Macau, I try to put some of my work about Macau so people will know more about different aspects of this city.
Do you have a favorite spot to shoot in Macau?
There are some spots, like the Lou Kau Mansion, Lilau Square. I like these places because even if I don’t plan a shoot I can just walk around the garden and see something interesting in the area, just wander around and walk and shoot.
Are there any places, a country or specific place you want to visit for taking photos?
There are plenty of places. I like traveling a lot but there are a lot of constraints due to work, holidays, and all those things. There are so many places I want to go to, like for traveling and personal experience, just too many, like Mexico, Mongolia, Africa, and even Antarctica… there are just too many places.
How do you use your social media accounts? How did you make a following?
I don’t specifically make it grow. I just share and that’s it. For me it’s more like a platform to share a blog, I don’t specifically try to run a page. I just think there is social media to share your work for some friends and get to know some new friends.
What type of equipment or main gear do you use?
For me, it’s just like I started photography not because of what kind of camera but it’s just a compact camera and I will always carry it around. I started with those DSLR cameras but it’s too heavy to practically carry it around. So I just use it when I travel. But for me, I just use my main camera unless I need to make a certain photo, like specific equipment to make my final production.
And please, we all want to know, where did the name “Antonius Photoscript”come from?
Ah that is a funny one. Antonio is like my original name, it’s a Portuguese name. Many of my friends keep spelling my name in an English way, so it’s like Antonios, Antonius, so I just changed it. And the Photoscript, this is a word that I invented personally, because when I started photography, I always wanted to use a photo to tell a story and not just be an image. Even though I still can’t do this properly now, that’s my goal. Script is like a story so I want to write a script using a photo, so that’s why I invented this kind of word. And I think that all photos I want have to bring a story or script. So that’s why I invented this word.