Tyler Q Durden’s photographs seem peaceful and quiet but are “wild on the inside”

What really stands out throughout Tyler’s work is his ability to document intimacy in an authentic way. His images seem to stop time and his subjects, often interacting with one another seem to be unaware of his lens, lost in the moment. In a series titled 爱戀 (Ai-Lian) which means love/relationship in Chinese, this is especially evident. “It is about using the same method [火山] as to capture the instant moment of kissing,” Tyler tells us. “I want to freeze this one moment forever. Emotion is complicated, but love simplifies everything.”
Pulling on his own experiences as he did in 火山 is a major part of Tyler’s process, he explains. “Every single inspiration comes from my own past experience, such as a movie, a song, or random things in life. These experiences create images in my head, and I express them through photography.” In fact, he first picked up a camera to document the every day in this sense. Essentially bored while hanging out with friends every day, he started photographing everything they were doing and the hobby soon became a passion. Tyler adds that as a graphic design major at the time, “visual art has always been fascinating to me” but that photography in particular drew him in “probably because it is faster and easier way to express myself.”
No matter what the topic or theme, Tyler sees every project as a chance to explore more about himself as well as his subjects. He wants to therefore continue using his camera to “have a better understanding of my inside world,” and hopefully run an exhibition sometime in the future too.
Tyler’s most recent work, a project titled WeAreSoClose, saw him taking photos as usual but also direct a video. “As modern technology and the internet made our pace faster, we became distanced at the same time, we stopped paying attention to the nature,” Tyler explains of the project’s premise. “Under the post-pandemic era, I had this urge to want real connections with both humans and nature, therefore I am inspired to shoot this series in the suburbs of Beijing. The goal is to remind us of the importance of going back to nature, and having real connection with friends, face-to-face like a child.”