Tommy Ga-Ken Wan is a photographer based in Glasgow. At the age of fourteen, his parents gave him a camera and, three years later – despite no formal training in art or photography – his work had been published and exhibited internationally.
At the age of nineteen, following a trip to Pakistan funded by the British Council, Tommy spoke about his photographs in a talk given to the University of Glasgow, and was subsequently invited by the High Commissioner of Pakistan to present and speak about his work to an invited audience at the High Commission in London.
Since this time, Tommy has worked as a freelance photographer, and has undertaken a diverse range of projects, from working on a big budget film set in Hong Kong to assisting local schoolchildren, in a commission from the National Theatre of Scotland, to produce an exhibition of their work. He has worked internationally with people from all walks of life, ranging from Ambassadors and CEOs to students and artists including actors, musicians and writers.
His priority in photography is suggesting or questioning what lies beneath the surface based on how it appears: what the reality of a situation is if it looks the way it does. With an academic background in literature, Tommy’s interest is in stories, and the texture of lived experience. However, in photography, he is more interested in reality than fiction, observation than direction. As a result, he works with available and natural light, and does not work in studios, but in the world: that is where stories are, where life is.