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Be amazed by Dr. Nick Ng's winning entry in the Sony World Photography Awards

A quick chat with Dr Ng and his take on Chinese culture featured in his winning shots

"If You Don’t Drink Tea, You Are Not Chinese”.

Wise words from Dr Nick Ng, and coincidentally the name of the photo series that made the country proud when it was chosen as the winner in this year's Sony World Photography Awards' professional candid category.

The Malaysian photographer, who gave the world an accurate glimpse into the ancient Chinese tradition of drinking tea, took the shots in an old Chinese tea house in Pencheng  District, Chengdu, China, which was founded around 150 years ago. His photos, which tell a tale of an ancient yet still very much alive culture, is an experience on its own. One that he shares with us in a candid conversation.

[Image: Dr. Nick Ng]

"My work revolves upon documenting the rich Chinese cultures and traditions that have shaped us today. In this case, I wanted to capture the custom of tea."

[Image: Dr. Nick Ng]

Tea has always been synonymous with Chinese culture, a tradition dating back to ancient times. It is a part of us, but where did it all start? This is what gave rise to “If You Don’t Drink Tea, You Are Not Chinese”.

[Image: Dr. Nick Ng]

"I couldn’t pose my subjects, and I couldn’t use flash. So the ambience of the moody, dimly-lit lights played an important role on how the images would turn out."

[Image: Dr. Nick Ng]

"Most of the images took into account the composition in mind and the exact candid moment of the tea house patrons interacting with each other."