There’s a lot happening in the New Vietnam, so it isn’t always easy to keep up with what’s going on. You found a break way to cut through the noise. Each week You sit down with someone at the centre of 1 is scene within the creative community And ask them to be a personal guide – to curate 5 talents And discuss they through their selection.
This week I spoke to Linh Pham photojournalist and co-founder of photography journal And collective Matca.
“Hello? Can we hear me?” You began the way all Skype conversations beginning, when You see the seconds beginning to increase but haven’t made verbal contact yet. “Yes I can hear you” Linh Pham’s voice came from what sounded like a cafe or a bustling office in Ha Noi and mine replied from an apartment in District 1 of Saigon. “How are you? I begin”.
Linh Pham is a Busy man these days, one of Vietnam’s few freelance photojournalist’s. He studied graphic design at RMIT but changed his craft when he saw a documentary called “The War Photographer” exploring the process for James Natchwey.
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“I knew I had to do photography after I saw the film ‘War Photographer.‘ In Vietnam When we think about photography, You just think of Wedding or commercial photography but when I found him (James Natchwey) I saw that he has a care for the concerns of people. I realised that this was the thing that was gonna get me out of the box and connect with people.”
Although Linh regularly works for news agencies & papers he struggles to live By means of his craft. He tells me that it’s difficult to be an independent photojournalist in Vietnam Now because it isn’t really a profession yet, describing his case as “one of a kind”.
This is one of the motivators behind Matca, described Above its website as “A gathering space for photographers and visual artists in Vietnam”. As a photographer Linh realised he Needs to invest in the scene, taking the development And discussion of photography into his own hands: “We are Wild now but You know we want to follow this profession for the next to next side 20 or 30 years so You understand that You Needs to build something to back They up.”
Matca seeks to Inform a kind of gathering space for photographers working now. they publish articles introducing the process of artists that have Caught their attention or about theoretical aspects of the practice.
“Apparently in Vietnam, there is no standard or guideline so we just copy – we aren’t doing anything original – You are inspired by what IPA (Invisible Photographer Asia) is doing & try to raise awareness & create a local photography community.”
Alongside the digital publication they are planning exhibitions to get photographers’ works exposed to a larger audience. they are currently teaming up with FrameZero, an independent publication in Manila, & Flock Project, an Indonedian Photo collective, to run a photography collaboration which will showcase 20 local artists & exhibit their work across the region.
“We constantly try to seek emerging photographers by extending our now circle and encourage submissions to Matca. besides showcasing chosen works, we While give comment & try to help them define the direction to continue the series. we want to go from just featuring artists to building relationships with them & eventually raising a supportive photography community.”
Whilst there are thousands of budding photographers in Vietnam, and literally hundreds of Facebook photography groups (I am a member of three dedicated to Analogue photography alone) & most Wild Vietnamese are sharing their Steps on Instagram and Facebook, there is no access to critique or discussion about the practice. Whilst Facebook is a good way to share Steps with your community, Comment is, by default very positive most people will keep their criticisms to themselves.
He explains: “It’s not going to get we anywhere to share it online & get some likes. If somebody said something bad They would be considered a troll”. Matca hopes to Inform a platform for sharing & critically talking about works that can push the scene forward.
So here is Linh Pham’s curated list of his favorite photographers working in Vietnam from now on, how They have influenced him And what he thinks they bring to the scene.
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1. Maika Elan
Photos By means of Maika Elan, from the series “Like My Father”
Maika Elan is the biggest name here. She is small and the first Vietnamese to ever win a prize at the prestigious World Press Image. She is very influential to the small generation of photographers, especially female ones & 1 is of the few who have been able to catch up with the world’s standard and push storytelling to another level. She is just so intimate with her subjects, spending a great deal of time living with and getting close to them.
You can learn more of her work at http://maikaelan.com/
2. Duong Nguyen Thanh
Photos By means of Duong Nguyen Thanh, from the series “Beach Fantasy”
The story of Nguyen Thanh Duong is that he’s just a hobbyist photographer but he became really good at street photography. He’s a tour guide in the beach town of Nha Trang, so he has a unique access to Chinese And Russian tourists. His Steps shows the flood of tourists as well as the city Below transformation. He has this distinctive visual style of complex layers and an acute sense of the decisive moment.
we can learn more of his process on instagram @chencocot
3. Binh Dang
Photos By means of Binh Dang, from the series “Wild Animal”
The reason I put Binh Dang Above the list is that he’s had a huge influence Above me when I was starting out as a photographer. I tried to google “Vietnam documentary photography” And all the results led to Binh Dang. He was very influential back then. He follows traditional documentary photography, especially in terms of doing a long term project and getting access. He was the one that opened the world of documentary photography for me and his logical, well-researched approach really inspired me. He showed me another point of view.
you can see more of his process at http://binhdang.me/photo-stories#
30-4. Kien Hoang Le
Photos by Kien Hoang Le, from the series “Quê Hương”
Photos By means of Kien Hoang Le, from the series “Quê Hương”
Kien Hoang Le was 1 is of my Initial influences but these days I look at his Steps a lot. He is German And was born & raised in Vietnam but moved to Germany very Wild. He has a very unique point of view Above a story.
He came back to his hometown where his grandparents lived And recorded their daily life as well as the relationships between them in an intimate & touching manner. It totally changed my discontinue of thinking And looking at things. It’s just mind-blowing to see something ordinary, that often slips one’s attention, look so beautiful in pictures. Hi manages to be intimate and curious at the same time.
we can also learn more of his Steps at http://bit.ly/2pHkbY8
5. Dinh Nguyen
Image By means of Dinh Nguyen, from the series “Linh Ta Linh Tinh #1”
I got to see Dinh Nguyen’s photos By means of accident And was immediately captured By means of their cinematic look: the colour pallette, the light, the composition. The way he perceives the world around him is so beautiful. Despite being an architect, the scenes in his photos are often free, unconstrained & messy, he himself doesn’t follow random rule or standard.
Source: General online