Charlie Kwai became an in-demand street photographer who travelled the world – China, Ghana and South America – to create self-published books of his photographs.
Formerly of Morpeth School and from Bethnal Green, Charlie achieved an A grade in A Level Graphics, and Bs in Geography, Psychology and General Studies while at Havering Sixth Form College.
He then achieved a Distinction in the Art & Design Foundation Diploma and left in 2006 to study Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
He worked as a graphic designer after leaving uni but realised his passion was photography. He won an award from creative website ItsNiceThat.com as One to Watch 2016 and said in an interview with Metal Magazine shortly after: “I realised that if you want to get really good at something – to be the very best – you have to do it every day. If you don’t do it every day, you’re always going to be mediocre.”
Charlie has a natural interest in people and found street photography was an excellent excuse to start a conversation with them. His pictures are candid-camera style images that he takes as he wanders the streets of London daily, capturing photos and talking to people about their lives.
He is also one-third of photographic group, Tripod City, and with this collective, travelled to Africa, South America and China to document in pictures the lives of ordinary people. With Tripod City he has also returned to the sixth form to lead a workshop for Foundation Art students.
He has exhibited work and spoken at The Photographers Gallery, Soho House, Nicer Tuesdays and the Photographers Dining Club and he has tutored in Photography at the City Academy. His photobook ‘Gold Dust’ gained international recognition via The Guardian and he is interviewed about his work and is featured in magazines regularly.
Photo: Metal Magazine