Through the Lens: The Faces of Shanghai

Bertrand Stark was raised in Switzerland and graduated from Paris University, then worked in investment banking for 10 years. In 1995 he radically changed professional direction to photography. He now jets about in the world of fashion, beauty and lifestyle photography, with Shanghai being his home base. He’s contributed to VogueNuméro,Elle and Harper's Bazaar, and worked with brands including L'Oreal, Nivea, Sony, VW, Schwazkopf and Shanghai Tang, among others.


A mixed Tokyo / Shanghai couple who I felt compelled to portrait as soon as I met them. High sophistication and refinement. Tangsan owns a Japanese restaurant. Itsumi is a flower artist and a Tea Ceremony master.

No need to say, she is very pretty. One does not need to be a photographer to beg for a sitting. I can read that little sadness in it that is almost be impossible to detect when you share casual moments with her, always joking and laughing.

A young, brilliant and unpredictable gallery owner. This portrait depicts quite well the complex personality of this character and radiates charm, a strong personality, as well as a little something a bit disquieting.

A charming friend who lives in Melbourne now. While living here, she clearly was one Shanghai night’s shining stars. This spontaneous shot was stolen during the early stage of one of these nights.

The first person in Shanghai I could call a friend. A very special character, something of a Chinese version of Truman Capote besides the fact that he has stirred his talent towards visual arts instead of literature. He asked me to photograph him for a magazine in which he has a contemporary art critic column.

Her sister is married to an old friend. This connection lead to an assignment to photograph the whole family reunited from all corners of the world in China around New Year's Eve.

Famous ceramic artist Liu Jianhua — this image is derived from an assignment from Dior to portrait him prior to a big collective exhibition.