Sat | Mar 17, 2018

Lascelles Chin pays tribute to photographer Ray Chen

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Photographer Ray Chen

(EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Ray Chen died on Saturday. Mr Chen died on Sunday.)

One of the nation's most notable photographers, Ray Chen, is being remembered by his friend of more than 60 years, businessman Lascelles Chin, as a consummate professional and an unselfish person.

The Jamaica-born photographer, who died on Sunday, did extensive work in photography in the island, but lived in Canada.

"Ray was a remarkable person, who did everything to ensure that his brothers got university training," Chin told The Gleaner yesterday.

"He became so prominent in photography that he was ranked among the top-five photographers in Canada. It was amazing, anytime the big companies and the banks and insurance companies do their advertising, they include in the ads, 'done by Ray Chen'."


Started with borrowed camera


Chen started out in photography after he borrowed a camera from Chin. Speaking at his final book launch in March 2015, the veteran photographer said of his profession, "Photography ... it's in your blood and you can't get it out".

Commenting on Chen's passion for photography, Chin recounted how his friend would visit him at 11 o'clock in the night to borrow his car to go to a Pocomania meeting to take pictures.

"Sometimes he borrows my SUV to go into the mountains early in the mornings to take pictures for his book."

Chen's last book was launched on March 18, at the Grogge Shop, Devon House in Kingston. The book is titled: Jamaica: My 50 Years in Photography.

He published two other books of pictorial essays - Jamaica: The Land and the People (1984) and Jamaica: The Beauty and the Soul of the Land We Love (1993) - as well as a historical volume commemorating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Han Chinese to Jamaica, titled The Shopkeepers (2005).

Chen attended school at the New York Institute of Photography, after which he went to live in Montreal, Canada, where he gained exposure to different styles and techniques. He later became a successful commercial photographer.