MOXIE is a word that has its origins from an American soft-drink, supposedly bitter tasting, and thereby giving the impression that anyone who could stomach the stuff was brave or courageous. Subsequently, the word became synonymous with spunk, sassiness and spirited attitude — someone with guts or balls. For me, I recall hearing the word on TV, mostly likely from black and white films dating back to the 30’s. I don’t quite recall. So I ask, do you have MOXIE?

In all the years I have been photographing Asian men, I have always admired them for their courage and trust in me. Even for me, in my humble beginnings in the prairies of Saskatchewan, disrobing myself in front of strangers would have been something. I’m such a wimp! In my quest to photograph the human body, I needed guys that would see that what I was doing was artistic in its intention, and to bare as much as they could for the camera. In that quest, I found that being the elements of being shy, vulnerable, idiosyncratic, even nerdish — was seductively attractive. My specific selection of Loren as the cover model for the first issue is one that I felt fitting. His attitude, his confidence and his unabashed spirit in who he is both inside and out.

With the introduction of MOXIE, my goal is to bring out that side in us that makes us alive and unique, outside of social and cultural norms that tend to suffocate us with obsolescence and ignorance. A second goal is to open this publication to express and push the boundaries of male photography and art in Hong Kong and Asia, and to explore human desire, eroticism in a visually and mentally stimulating way. I have always felt that darkness is more interesting than a sunny day. Mystery, truth and beauty doesn’t arrive from the known, but the unknown.

Norm Yip
June 2017