Urban Canyons by Reuben Wu in Chicago, Illinois, USA

One of my intentions in visual art is to subvert time, scale and perspective. They are the qualities which tie our perceptions to the ‘real’ and make the world around us seem ‘normal’.

I am constantly astounded by the scale and beauty of the architecture in downtown Chicago and wanted to explore that in a style which lent itself to the 1970’s artwork of science fiction novels and progressive rock album sleeves.

They are unashamedly manipulated and I see them as lighthearted visual concepts about city spaces, and quite separate from a lot of other photography that I create.

Name:Reuben Wu

Place you live: Chicago, USA

Place your photos were taken: They were both taken in downtown Chicago

Can you sum up Chicago? I’ve been living in Chicago for almost a year now. Before that I was in London, and before that in Liverpool, my hometown. I see the city as my second home now. It’s a great place – architecturally more impressive than Manhattan and also located next to the water, which is very important to me. Even before I moved here (touring as part of my musical career) I admired the city and its people.

Occupation: Visual/Sound Artist/Director

Preoccupation: Visual/Sound Artist/Director

What is your perfect day in Chicago? A couple of hours in the morning volunteering at a bird refuge in the morning, Southwest/Mexican lunch at Big Star in Wicker Park, photographing and general mucking about by the lakeside until sun down, and then a fresh seafood platter and cocktails at my favourite French restaurant Maude’s. If I’m feeling like it, I’ll check out a friend’s gig at Danny’s in Bucktown or The Empty Bottle.

What is the best thing about Chicago? The urban canyons.

What is the worst? The wind in the winter.

What would be surprising about this place to an outsider? It can be a surprisingly cheap place to live.

If your city was a person or character who would it be? Batman

Who are three of your favorite photographers right now? Current photographers? Grant Thomas, Ellen Rogers, and my good friend Neil Krug.

Can you give a piece of advice to an aspiring photographer? Embrace change, master new skills, never stop learning.



Name:Reuben Wu


Best place to eat?

Snow Crab legs at Mariscos El Veneno

Best place to drink?

Cocktails at Maude’s

Best place to shop?

Oh, I fail at shopping in Chicago.

Local Tip?

Take the CTA, it’s cheap and cheerful.

If someone was visiting what must they do?

They will need to drop by my exhibition at Schneider Gallery called ‘Distant Suns’ which opens on January 10th and runs until February 22nd. Haha, sorry for the quick plug!