Greetings Chiron, it is a delight to discuss your work. It is said that beauty is the universal language of nature. With the interconnectedness of our world such a language would bridge gaps that other communicative forms would fail to. In your practice, have you found that the beauty you create has served as such a unifying force? If yes, why might you think this power exists?
It is a pleasure to discuss with you and share my work with everyone. Sometimes I think about this. When I think of songs from different countries, the melody is what I can feel and the lyrics are a barrier for me to understand the language. I also find it interesting that the image, in some respects, has the same properties as the melody of the song: In any country, it can be felt without many words. We will have the basic senses and each sense will have the right art form to be able to communicate across borders. I just think that I try to express my thoughts and feelings in pictures so that people can feel them visually and I reproduce that feeling in my photos. It could be my energy present in it.
The notions of fragility, fantasy, mystery and the feminine feature dynamically across your photographs. If you would, please do share with us what it is about the elusive and or almost immaterial that keeps you transfixed.
It is the influence of context and culture, combined with memories from childhood, the uniqueness of Vietnamese and Asian cultures and the influence of modern society that have created transformations and elusive in my works.
Your work falls into the realm of fine art generally while serving also as high fashion photography (which is a subsection of fine art in particular). In your interview with Vogue photo you remarked that Roversi, Knight and Walker were sources of inspiration. With this being said, was fashion photography your goal when first investigating cameras, or did it become a means to a greater end?
As you know, I come from a remote rural area in Vietnam, and fashion photography is what appears on TV in fashion shows and I was impressed by them so I started with fashion photography. So fashion photography was my first goal, I was very young then and I just wanted to shoot what I liked and fashion was what I really enjoyed at that time. Over a period of time, I discovered what I care about even more and beyond the realm of fashion.
Having an academic background in architecture, one would suppose your relationship to line and space to be such that you’ve developed a second sense for accurate proportion. What role does line, or its obfuscation, play in the ways you use light and color to change reality into dream?
For architecture, the elements of lines, light, iron color, etc. will combine to create the feeling. So I don’t try to separate them in my works either. My colors go with the materials (rough, shiny, soft, sparkling) so it creates special sensations. The contours in the image are also an arrangement of contrasting elements such as dynamic and still, sharp and blurred, etc.
In a past interview you spoke about your childhood in Vietnam, about how your mind was filled with wonderment, and how beauty and things magical held prominence in your experience. Do you think this disposition was a natural outpouring of your culture’s worldview, or was it more an idiosyncratic internal drive? How did you keep this sense pure until this day?
I think it’s both. I’ve always wanted to question what’s special about me, my experience, what my subconscious mind has always been interested in, and I develop these, these memories into a vehicle for expressing my interest. My point, my motivation at each stage is different due to social influences.
Memories of my childhood and the countryside where I live is really different from where I work in a big city. At times of pressure I can only think of good things to calm my mind. Basically, these memories are very valuable to me, because they contain a lot of different experiences that when you grow up you can hardly do like when you were a child. Ever since I had a grandchild, I can see those beautiful memories popping up in my head again. Family ties in Asia are indescribable, both positive and negative, yet it enriches me mentally and I carry those feelings with me.
Do you think the world needs more opportunities to escape reality as its limit? Do you view your work as an invitation into spaces where pure emotions can exist? If so, which emotions would you like to exist there and why, and what would be the good of said escape?
Yes, my work brings to mind some forgotten human emotions.
For me the benefits of being lost in a world of emotions, the artist’s personal perspective helps me experience the world from the artist’s unique perspective and soothes my soul. But then I need to be in the real world and experience my own life to create my own world.
You have implement diverse technologies into your practice, such as motion capture. In the future, would you ever use photogrammatry to take your visions into the metaverse?
Thank you, I haven’t looked them up yet.
Please share with us anything that is on your heart about your practice, process of goals for creating.
I have many genres of photography to experiment with and for each genre I draw my own practice method. In the future i want to try more at conceptual and life photography as well as still life. I feel my connection to these genres. My goal is to give my point of view through photography, and be able to use photography along with other fields like economics, architecture, etc. to convey cultural and social issues to the community in a meaningful way.