I am an amateur filmmaker. This implies that I’m not that professional. Making films that are difficult to understand, receiving a scholarship to study overseas… When money started to run out, my teacher, director Peter Yung, asked me to be his cinematographer. For a student with only elementary knowledge about photography, I accepted only reluctantly. After that, I thought I was really a cinematographer!
Returning to Hong Kong, I accidentally became a scriptwriter, when a director was not happy with the script he had and asked me to do a rewrite. But that amounted to nothing eventually! Such is the unwritten way of Hong Kong film industry. Working in the wrong position is also routine; throughout the years, I had served as editor, animator, art direction, cinematography and special effects. That was because Hong Kong film was in a stage of rapid expansion and anybody could get a chance, even those with no preparation at all! And I’m fortunate to be one of those. I brashly tried, blindly, crossing the river by feeling the stones. Though the water was running quick, I was able to push on – thank goodness!
Born in 1952 in Guangzhou, China, Kwen Park-huen made short films at an early age, including documentaries, experimental films, animation shorts and features, establishing himself as a key figure in Hong Kong independent cinema. Throughout the years, he had received many awards in local and international forums for his work. After graduating in 1976 from Hong Kong Polytechnic with a degree in Design, he studied filmmaking and pottery at the continuing education programs of, respectively, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Polytechnic.
In 1988, Kwen directed the independent feature Reunion (1988), about the relationship between an unemployed man and a prostitute.
In 1989, he was awarded a scholarship by the Philippe Charriol Foundation to study sculpture at the Middlesex Polytechnic University in London, England. Kwen had worked in the film industry in various capacities. As art director for No Regret (1989) he was nominated for Best Art Direction at the Hong Kong Film Awards. For Shaolin Soccer (2001), he was nominated for Best Cinematography. He had also worked in making commercials and as university lecturer, all the while maintaining his stature as an independent filmmaker.
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