“I got into photography as a teenager and began photographing the intimate world around me: my local area, my friends, increasingly becoming interested in challenging conventional ways of representation – of youth, race, urban environment,” photographer and filmmaker Lewis Khan begins. “My work now is still built upon these threads and revolves around exploration of the human experience.”
The photographer graduated from Bristol’s UWE where, in his third year, he began experimenting with moving image, which led him to make the short film Georgetown, which pulled the viewer deep into the life of George, a South London local known to Lewis from his teen years. Back home in London, Lewis began probing further into the edges of human existence during an unconventional residency born out of a competition, the Chelsea & Westminster Photo Bursary.
“I’ve just finished an artist residency at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, which I’ve been working on for the past 18 months or so,” Lewis told us. “The body of work that resulted, entitled Love Time explores the concepts of strength and fragility within human beings, whilst having the deconstruction through privatisation of the NHS as over-arching context for the climate in which the project has been made.”
Love Time takes an intimate look at the much-loved but critically endangered NHS, pulling the institution’s staff into the foreground. “My practice is about finding humility in the overlooked, and about challenging stereotypes within representation,” Lewis comments. “It’s an approach that I apply across subject matter, creating narrative based in realism told through individuals, communities, and their environment.”
Recently, Lewis travelled further afield for a second project. “I’ve also been out to Cuba a couple of months ago to shoot a project that uses a rural firework festival as a prism to look at larger concepts like war and religion, that series is called Fictions.” But that’s not to say he’s lost sight of his roots. “At the moment I’m working on trying to get these projects out there which is another project in itself. And I’m making new work based around a web of ideas, revisiting some subjects and some of the areas around where I grew up.”