New York-based photographer Atom Moore proudly sits at Michelin-star restaurant Epure located by the Hong Kong bay. He has a glass of vino in hand and makes a celebratory toast with his wife Catherine. It is a night to rejoice, having just launched his first exhibit in Asia in partnership with Tudor. Wearing an electric blue tuxedo and countless tattoos, he looks pretty much like a Big Apple artist.
He is talking about his beard, which reaches down to his chest. “It’s a personal, aesthetic choice. My wife has never seen me without it,” shares Atom. Though people often bring it up as a conversation starter, he prefers to evade the subject. There are more interesting things he would rather speak about like the route to his profession “My start in photography was in high school. My brother always knew what he wanted to do and I didn’t. When you’re young, you don’t know what you really want to be. So I randomly took photography class in high school for fun. I eventually went to college for photography, as well. It just stuck.”
He learned from his college professors, who he now considers influential mentors. “They didn’t teach me how to be a commercial photographer, but taught me to shoot how I saw the world instead.” After completing his education, Atom moved from his hometown of Massachusetts to New York City, where he went into photography full time. He was into shooting jewelry, and became interested in photographing vintage watches. “I love photography and being able to make a living from something I am proud to do,” the artist says.
Atom’s increasing love for vintage timepieces prompted him to join organizations that paid homage to rare watches. He became an active member of the New York City Chapter of RedBar Crew, an international watch-enthusiast group. His participation as the art director and official photographer of vintage watch retailer Analog/Shift inspired him to create his signature style, “mash-up” photography.
“Mash-ups are composites of my [watch] photos. They allow me to let my imagination run wild. I typically focus on design elements [which] I feel express the personality of a watch I like and rework them with no specific template,” explains Atom. The result is an enhanced image of a timepiece composed of the most striking elements from different watches. Atom collated the images into his first solo exhibit entitled “Watch Portraits,” which showed at New York City’s Sacred Gallery in Autumn of 2015.
Watch enthusiasts took notice of Atom’s inventive work and photography techniques. He built a strong following on Instagram, posting his creative composite. Luxury watch brand Tudor became intrigued with Moore’s de-constructed images and a conversation for a collaboration ensued. They offered to put his signature spin on watches from Tudor’s famed Heritage Black Bay collection.
Atom flew to Geneva with his Canon 5Ds camera in hand. Tudor gave him complete access to photograph any timepiece in their extensive archive. It was a special moment for the artist career-wise, but also personally, as he was given the chance to view rare timepieces he never dreamed he would encounter. Atom printed his photographs on large metal sheets. “It has an oneness with the watch,” he says.
Tudor chose Hong Kong as the location to launch Atom Moore’s Tudor Heritage Black Bay Exhibit. The exhibit was held at the Ocean Terminal at a cocktails reception attended by Hong Kong celebrities, watch enthusiasts and international art lovers, some of who flew in especially for the event.
Lifestyle Asia was present during the big reveal. The art unveiled that evening represented the best qualities of Tudor’s flagship models and design features. One piece that stirred much interest featured watch bezels arranged to look like an actual atom. The image not only highlighted one of the most important elements necessary in creating a Tudor timepiece, it also alluded to the artist behind it, a photographer named Atom.