The budding Hong Kong-based Filipino photographer, who will exhibit his raw and real photographs at the upcoming Millennial Vintage exhibition hosted by Artizians, tells us why this is an event you don’t want to miss:

Music, cigarettes and vodka—the three things that Mherck Dela Cruz believes are essential to creating a great photo. However, bear in mind this is based on his belief that he likes his subjects to be completely comfortable and at ease.

We spoke to the budding photographer ahead of the opening of his Millennial Vintage exhibition, which he’s featured in and which lands in Hong Kong later this month courtesy of Artizians, an emerging online art gallery and creative agency.

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Curated by Tiziana des Pallieres, Millenial Vintage is a group exhibition that comes from des Pallieres’ awareness that her generation’s photographers have returned to an old-school aesthetic, with a noticeable rebirth in analogue photography. The featured artists merge contemporary and vintage, and work with the mixed mediums of film and digital photography.

Tell us about yourself and how you first got into photography.

I’m Mherck, I’m from the Phillippines and I’ve been in Hong Kong for the past six years working in different marketing roles. Growing up, I always loved cameras and having my photo taken so my family encouraged me to embrace it and to get behind the lens.

My new hobby led me to pursue a degree at the Fashion Institute of the Phillippines, and the rest is history.

How do you hope to inspire others through your photography? 

The intention of my work is always to promote body confidence, self-confidence and beauty in all of its forms, no matter what shape or size.

What do you think makes a great photo?

I think it’s really important for people to just feel comfortable and to be themselves. When people are confident in who they are, it really comes through in photos, so it’s really important to have a great time and to let loose.

Can you tell us about the exhibition and the Artizians community, and how you came to be involved?

I first came across the online gallery and creative agency, Artizians, when they followed me on Instagram and requested to represent me. After browsing their page I said a big fat "YES!" Now we’re collaborating and I’m in the process of creating some content for their online magazine.

What are you most looking forward to the exhibition?

I’m hoping the exhibit will encourage people to be more open-minded and that it will inspire others to follow their passion. It may even lead to me connecting with other artists who want to collaborate—there is so much talent coming out of Asia recently, so I’m looking forward to sharing my work with others.   

See also: 5 Local Artists To Watch In Hong Kong

One reason why this is an exhibition nobody should miss?

It’s a chance for people to look at the world through my lens and to see the work of the other artists represented by Artizians—hopefully it will change how people view art and open their minds to the endless possibilities the world has to offer. 

The Millenial Vintage exhibition will be open on December 18 at Kong Art Space, 3 Staunton Street, Central. For more information, visit