Tag Archives: vietnam

The Rules of the Game 真实的大富翁游戏

April 3, 2019 2019年4月3日

You can tell from her drawings that Vietnamese illustrator Cao Le Dieu Phuc is a curious, perceptive, and insightful artist. Her works are understated but incisive, with a caustic edge. One example is her recent project, Vocabulary, which features a collection of index cards that match definitions from the dictionary with drawings redefining each word. On one card, the definition of “monopoly” is coupled with a world map, a commentary on how reality isn’t far off from the Hasbro board game with rich elites wanting to accumulate as much land and wealth as possible. On another, the definition of “loudspeaker” is paired with an assault rifle, serving as a critique on how only those with power are heard. This project is her distinctive view of society. “Through art, I want to show everyone my views on this world,” Cao says.

从越南插画家 Cao Le Dieu Phuc 的画作中就可以感受出来,她是一个充满好奇心、观察力、和洞察力的创作者。如同她在最近的作品系列《Vocabulary》(《单词》)中,带着一丝揶揄的调侃意味,她把字典里不同字词配上自己原创的图解,创造出全新的释义——把大富翁游戏解释为整个世界,是富者插旗置产的游戏主场;或是扩音器解释为枪,拥有武器的人的声音更能被听见……这一系列作品提供了她对现实社会独到又残酷的见解。Cao Le Dieu Phuc 说,“我想通过艺术向大家展示我对这个世界的想法。”

Bleach / 漂白
Loudspeaker / 扬声器
Monopoly / 大富翁
Band-aid / 创可贴
Tickets / 票卷

Even as a child, Cao was insatiably curious. This inquisitive nature would follow her into adulthood and nurture her creativity. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had lots of questions about normal things in life, such as, ‘What is death like? Why am I me and why are they them? How would it feel to be someone else?” she recalls. Even though she’s now older, she still hasn’t found definitive answers to these questions. Yet she isn’t alone. We’re all clueless, like pawns set down in this game, groping our way forward.

“It still feels like I’m playing my childhood games as an adult,” she says. “But the games feel much harder because many rules have changed.” Cao’s series Are You Ready? explores these changes, depicting the realities of adulthood through illustrations of popular board games and video games from the 90s. In the series, the tiny humans are seemingly estranged from their peers, isolated in their own games as they chase after dollars, look for a partner, try to fit in, seek out attention, and face death: this is everyone’s life in miniature.

从小 Cao Le Dieu Phuc 就对生命抱持着许多疑问,她满怀好奇心以及追根问底的个性也跟随她进入成年,并滋养了她艺术上的创意表现。“死亡是怎么样的?为什么我是我,而他是他?如果可以成为别人那会是什么样的感觉?”虽然这些问题在她长大之后不见得能得到解答,但她并不是孤单的。我们每个人都一样懵懂无知,如同棋子一般被安插在人生这场游戏里,摸索着向未来前行。

“我好像还是在玩这些小时候的游戏,只不过更困难,因为游戏规则变了。”Cao Le Dieu Phuc 这样形容她对人生的看法。《Are You Ready?》(《准备好了吗?》)这一系列作品是她针对现实的描摹,以 90 年代经典的桌游和电玩游戏为原型,画面中的小人与身旁的伙伴形同陌路,游离在各种的游戏里——挣钱、寻找另一半、融入群体、寻求关注、死亡——这是一部部人生的缩影。

But games and real life are very different. Unlike video games, in life, there’s no pause, and you can’t hit the restart button. The drab palette of Cao’s illustrations almost seems to allude to this glum realization, but she’s actually an optimist at heart. “My art isn’t stating that we can only play by the rules of the game,” she explains. “It’s just that when you get better, you’ll have to face even harder challenges, just as you would when you advance to the later levels of a video game. We need to figure out how to beat the level, to master the game of life, and have fun doing it. This series has allowed me to say goodbye to childhood and face the real world.”


Behance: ~/caoledieuphuc
Facebook: ~/caoledieuphuc


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

Behance: ~/caoledieuphuc
脸书: ~/caoledieuphuc


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

In the Streets of Saigon 在西贡,一个人的好天气

February 18, 2019 2019年2月18日

A woman walks past a smoky food cart, turning to hear a vendor a few yards away who appears to be calling out to her. It’s an ordinary scene on an unremarkable street corner in Saigon, but the composition has an accidental perfection: a triangle formed by the lamppost and the rays of sun frame the central figures, whose two faces are separated only by a narrow strip of color. Above them, billows of smoke from the grill suffuse the scene with an otherworldly light. The snapshot seems to conjure a whole social world and elevate to some higher, more ethereal realm. This is street photography at its most eloquent.

一个女人正走过一台热气蒸腾的食物摊车,她转过头去,似乎在回应站在几米外的小贩的呼喊——这是发生在越南西贡 (胡志明市)街边一个极为平常的日常场景,但画面的构图却意外的完美:由灯柱和光束所构成的三角形舞台,正中央是面孔被光线照射的明暗区分开来的主角人物。在他们之上,烤架升起的烟雾弥漫四方,化为一片超凡脱俗的光芒。这张照片抓取到了凡世的一瞬,并将其升华至更空灵的境界。这就是街头摄影叙事张力的极致展现。

Phuong Tran, the Saigon-based photographer who took this photo, is largely self-taught. A copywriter by day, he started taking pictures simply because he had a smartphone and decided to play around with it. “Back in the day, I’d go around Saigon and take pictures of whatever I liked,” he recalls. “I just captured things, and it brought me a lot of fun.”

拍摄这张照片的是自学成才的摄影师 Phuong Tran。他生活在西贡,全职工作是一名文案,会开始拍照仅仅是因为他买了一支智能手机,想要摸索一下而已。“白天的时候,我会在西贡四处乱逛,拍下我喜欢的照片。我只是想捕捉住一些时刻,这个过程很有趣。”他回忆道。

Like many other amateurs, he discovered he had a knack for photography, and that talent quickly turned into an obsession. “It was like another world I could escape to. I thought about it all the time, I began to read materials, and I got praise from friends,” he says. Eventually he decided to upgrade to a mirrorless camera, which allowed him more control over the shots he took. He now shoots with a Sony Alpha 6000, and easy-to-use model that suits his needs.

像许多业余的摄影爱好者一样,他发现了自己在摄影方面的天赋。很快这种天赋演变成为他的热爱。“摄影是我可以躲进的另一个世界。我无时无刻都想拍照,于是我开始阅读相关的资料,朋友也对我的作品给予很多肯定。”最终,他决定从手机升级到微单相机,这让他在拍摄时能有更多掌控。现在,他用的是一台索尼 Alpha 6000 相机。这是一台操作简单的相机,正符合他的需求。

Tran’s work has earned him a devoted following on Instagram. “The most important thing I want to capture in a photograph is the connection between myself and the subject,” he explains. “If that event brings me excitement, or a thrill, or gives me pause—well, that’s something worth capturing. Then comes the question of light, colors, composition, etc., to tell the story in a beautiful way.” Many of his images show light refracted or reflected—piercing smoke, streaming through windows, or blurring background and foreground in a shop window.

Phuong Tran 的作品为他赢得了 Instagram 上一批忠实的粉丝。“一张照片最重要的是要捕捉到我和被摄者之间的连结。”他解释说,“如果某件事物让我感到兴奋、激动,或让我为此停留,那就值得拍下来。再来就是光线、色彩、构图的问题,如何通过好看的画面来讲述故事。”他的许多照片都利用烟雾、窗户等物体来表现光线的折射或反射,或是透过玻璃橱窗模糊背景和前景。

While he’s also taken photos in Burma and Taiwan—where the above image is from—his favorite subject is still Vietnam, and especially his hometown Saigon. Its “messy streets, strange people, and changing appearance” have inspired him since he first started pointing and clicking. His Saigon is a city of bicycles, scooters, overhead wires, its buildings comfortably weathered and daubed in a ubiquitous turquoise.


It’s also a city that’s changing quickly. “Just like other Asian cities, Saigon has its own conflict between preservation and development,” Tran says. “Every day I witness the replacement of old by the new, and I think I need to capture these images before they’re gone, to give them a second life.”


Instagram: @deewonderer


Contributor: Allen Young
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li

Instagram: @deewonderer


供稿人: Allen Young
英译中: 李秋群

Sigh, Gone “你”能放过我吗?

February 1, 2019 2019年2月1日



Sigh Gone is a new film by writer-director Jeannie Nguyen and cinematographer Andrew Yuyi Truong, the filmmakers behind First Generation. The duo’s latest storytelling effort takes them to their parents’ home country of Vietnam, where with help from local producers at BLAZE they’ve crafted a love story with a contemporary twist.

《Sigh Gone》是由导演 Jeannie Nguyen 和摄像师 Andrew Yuyi Truong 拍摄的一部新电影,他们也是《First Generation》的导演。这对拍档的新电影讲述了一个他们父母的祖国越南的故事,在那里,在 BLAZE 当地制作人的帮助下,他们创作了一个具有当代特色的爱情故事。

The short film centers on Thuy, a girl who’s desperately trying to get over a recent heartbreak. Alone at home and unable to quiet her restless mind, she decides to go for a ride on her scooter. But as she cruises through the bustling streets of Saigon, she discovers there’s no use hiding from her emotions. Her grief is even echoed by lyrics inscribed on the back of her motorcycle helmet. The quote, penned by Vietnamese musician Trinh Cong Son, translates to, “Not all that is lost is forgotten.”

这部短片以一个正在拼命试图从最近的心碎经历中走出来的女孩 Thuy 为中心,影片描述了她一个人在家,无法平静她的心绪不宁,于是决定骑上她的机车去兜风。但当她在西贡熙熙攘的街道上穿行时,她发现隐瞒自己的感情是没有用的。她的悲伤和印在摩托车头盔背面的歌词所呼应,那是越南音乐家 Trinh Cong Son 的原话:失而不忘。Not all that is lost is forgotten.

As her day drags on, the bereaved protagonist’s heartache goes from bad to worse—she can’t even make even simple decisions, like where to go and what to eat. To make matters worse, she realizes she’s completely forgotten about a friend’s birthday, and when she rushes over with a cake to make amends, the neighbors tell Thuy no one’s home, and chastise her for being a terrible friend.

随着时间的流逝,失去所爱的 Thuy 的心痛愈发加剧,她甚至不能做出简单的决定,比如去哪里、吃什么。更糟糕的是,她完全忘了朋友的生日。当她匆忙拿着一块蛋糕去赔罪时,邻居们跟她说根本没人在家,且指责她是个糟糕的朋友。

Thuy heads home feeling even more defeated than before. But as she pulls up to her apartment, she finds a welcomed surprise: her lost love is there waiting for her—an iPhone that she left at a friend’s place.

回家后的 Thuy 感觉比之前更沮丧了。但当她把车在公寓停好后,她发现了一个惊喜:她丢失的“挚爱”在那里等着她——她的 iPhone,曾留在了一个朋友家的 iPhone。

Sigh Gone turns out not to be a story of lost love after all, but a commentary on our obsession with smartphones. While it’s a lighthearted take on the subject, there is something bleakly familiar about this portrayal of our modern consumption habits. For many viewers, the anxiety and frustration of not having our smartphones within arm’s reach may hit a little too close to home.

Sigh Gone》原来说的并非一个关于失去爱人的故事,而是对我们对智能手机的痴迷现象。虽然这个话题令人轻松愉快得多,但在对我们现代消费习惯的描述中,的确存在着一些令人沮丧的事实。对许多观众来说,手机只要一离开就在我们几步之遥,我们就会感到焦虑和沮丧。

Alongside technology codependency, the film also touches on the double-edged nature of social media. “To be honest, it’s a little scary that today’s young people have never experienced life outside social media,” Nguyen says. “While these platforms can be great tools to make connections with and be exposed to art and culture from around the world, they’re more frequently highlight reels for people’s lives. It’s inauthentic, but young people don’t process that. It can be detrimental to their psyche.”

At one point in the film, Thuy asks herself, “What’s the point of creating memories if they’re not shared?” This question takes on a different meaning when it becomes clear that she’s referring to Facebook. What seems like a wistful question becomes a damning critique of our need to be constantly plugged into these digital feeds. With the ubiquity of smartphones and our ever-increasing screen time, Sigh Gone poses a tough question: are we living our own lives anymore, or are we too busy living vicariously through our devices?

除了科技与人的共生关系,这部电影还涉及了社交媒体的双刃性质。“老实说,现在的年轻人在社交媒体之外从来没有体验过生活,这有点吓人。” Nguyen 说,“尽管这些平台可以成为连接世界各地的艺术文化,并成为与之接触的绝佳工具,但它们通常只是起了强调人们生活的作用。这不是真实的,但是年轻人不会接受。这对他们的精神是有害的。”

在电影中,Thuy 问自己,如果不能分享,那么创造记忆有什么意义呢?当明确了她所指的是 Facebook 时,这个问题就有了不同的含义。似乎从一个伤感的问题变成了对现代人们捆绑于数媒信息之上的一种严厉批评。随着智能手机的普及、人们屏幕时间的日益增加,《Sigh Gone》提出了一个严峻的问题:我们是在过自己的生活,还是我们忙于通过设备,以间接的方式生活?


Instagrams@jea.nguyen | @a.y.truong


Contributor: David Yen
Chinese Translation: Chen Yuan


Instagrams@jea.nguyen | @a.y.truong


供稿人: David Yen
英译中: Chen Yuan

A Touch of Spring

October 16, 2018 2018年10月16日

“My name is Xuan Loc. It means spring bud.” Perhaps what gives the art of Vietnamese illustrator Xuan Loc Xuan such a lasting charm, with its fresh, springlike colors, is the meaning behind her name.

Xuan’s simple tones are taken from nature’s loveliest scenes: the greens of open fields, the blues of sea and sky, and the pinks of new spring buds provide the palette for her artwork. “The immense blue sky with small white clouds, the beautiful wild beaches, the erratic weather in Saigon—all of these inspired me in my work.”

“我的名字 Xuan Loc,意思是春芽。” 春光正暖,百花绽放,也许正是这股天生的春意,赋予了越南插画师 Xuan Loc Xuan 的画作中这股始终都在的旖旎和温柔。


Xuan painstakingly plans every detail in her art. Under the misty hues of smoke or clouds lies a layer of coarse paper fibers, and together these textures and hues combine to create a simple, natural effect. “I tend toward minimalism,” she says. “I use color as a main factor in my works. For me, colors determine the strength of a picture. As for my technique, I don’t draw surroundings or use background color but focus on the main subject. I carefully portray everything, from the eyes to the rosy cheeks to the corner of the mouth. Sometimes the smallest elements become the main attraction.”

Xuan Loc Xuan 细致地勾勒出画中每一个细节,除了那些如云烟般缥缈的用色,还有一层纸张的纹路质感,让色彩和质地相互交乘,调和出一股自然质朴的味道。“我喜欢极简的设计,颜色是我最重视的元素。对我来说,颜色能决定一幅作品的力度。所以我通常不会在背景加上过多颜色,我专注在主体上,细心地画出从双眼、泛红的脸颊、到嘴角的小细节。因为通常就是这些小东西,能成就一幅画最为吸引人的地方。”

Behance: ~/XuanLocXuan
Instagram: @xuanlocxuan


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

Behance: ~/XuanLocXuan
Instagram: @xuanlocxuan


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Metal Soul

September 28, 2018 2018年9月28日



Sĩ Dang stands in the corner of an immense metal workshop in Dĩ An, a village 20 kilometer north of Ho Chi Minh City. The metal bar he’s holding with his bare hands seems to be an extension of his body as he twists it in sync with each strike of the mechanical power hammer.

Sparks fly around the machine, even bouncing off his exposed skin, and the booming echoes can be heard far outside the workshop. But inside Sĩ’s head, it seems quiet—the young blacksmith is completely absorbed by his work and oblivious to anything other than the red-hot end of the metal bar. Only when the metal becomes too cold to forge does Sĩ snap out of his trance momentarily to reheat the metal in the furnace.

在胡志明市以北 20 公里的 Dĩ An 村庄,Sĩ Dang 站在一间大型金属加工车间的角落,徒手握着一根金属棒。随着动力锤每次击打,他灵活地扭转金属棒,仿佛这根金属棒就是他身体的延伸。

火花在机器周围四溅,弹到他裸露的肌肤上,轰隆隆的回声一直传到车间外的远处。 然而,在 Sĩ 的脑袋里,世界是安静的。这名年轻的铁匠完全沉浸在自己的工作中,对火红金属棒以外的事物浑然不知。唯有当金属变冷不能继续锻造时,他才会从这种投入的状态中暂时抽出,将金属重新放到火上烧热。

Watching his effortless movements, you might assume that he’s the son of a long bloodline of blacksmiths, born with a hammer in hand. But this is far from the truth. “I found this job online two years ago,” he says. “I applied without any previous blacksmithing experience. But I was a welder at the time, so I knew I loved metal and fire.” The Vietnam-based French blacksmith who hired him, Sébastian Sicot, has absolutely no regrets: “Sĩ is definitely very talented, and he has a strong work ethic.”

他的动作轻松自如,仿佛这把锤子是他与生具来的一部分,这也许会让人以为他来自于一个铁匠家族,从小耳濡目染。然而,事实远非如此。“两年前我在网上找到这份工作。” 他说,“申请这份工作之前,我没有任何锻造的经验。不过我做过焊工,所以我知道自己喜欢和金属、火有关的工作。” 雇用他的是定居越南的法国铁匠 Sébastian Sicot,对于这个决定,Sébastian 说自己一点也不后悔,“Sĩ 很有才华,而且非常有职业道德。”

The Soul of the Craftsman

When the work with the power hammer is done, Sĩ takes a forging hammer from a wall filled with other miscellaneous tools and starts bending the metal. Of the twenty hammers regularly used in the shop, nearly all of them look exactly like the ones blacksmiths used centuries ago. Sĩ says, “Some tools haven’t really changed over the years, but nowadays, most of us use slightly different forging techniques.”

To Sĩ, the technique, in fact, the whole process of blacksmithing is even more magical than the final objects he makes. Sure, he wants to create beautiful pieces, but he finds most fulfillment in the craft itself. “Good blacksmiths slowly turn a lifeless piece of metal into something with a soul,” he explains. The 24-year-old craftsman is not trying to be poetic: it’s clear he means it.

He believes that blacksmiths have the ability to imbue vitality into a lifeless piece of metal by putting their own soul into it. “But only when they work with their hands,” Sĩ adds. “Shaping metal with factory molds and machines don’t give it a soul”.

Sĩ often works closely together with his fellow craftsmen in the workshop; they all contribute small pieces to a larger whole. “The end result is a melting pot of all our souls,” Sĩ’s eyes sparkle as he says it.


完成动力锤部分的工作后,Sĩ 从摆满各种工具的墙壁上取出锻锤,开始弯曲金属。几乎所有店里常用到的二十个锤子,看起来都像是几个世纪前的产物。Sĩ 说: “有些工具经过这么多年其实也没有怎么变化,只是大多数现代人的锻造技术稍微不同。”

事实上,对于 Sĩ 来说,锻造的整个过程比他所打造的最终成果更加令人称奇。当然,他想要打造出漂亮的作品,但他发现自己最大的成就感来自这项工艺本身。“好的铁匠能慢慢将一块没有生命的金属,变成一件有灵魂的物体。” 他解释道。这位 24 岁的铁匠并非刻意将其浪漫化,很显然,这是他内心的真实想法。

他相信,铁匠在锻造的过程中,能够将自己的灵魂融入其中,为无生命的金属注入生命力。 “但前提是他们要用自己的双手工作。用工厂模具和机器来塑造金属并不会给它带来灵魂。” Sĩ 补充道。

Sĩ 经常会与车间的其他铁匠合作,一起打造大型的作品。“最终成果是我们所有人的灵魂的熔炉。” Sĩ 说道,眼里闪耀着光芒。


That sense of connection with other blacksmiths is even more profound when doing restoration work. Indeed, every forged piece carries the soul of the maker inside, even when that person is gone. Sĩ says, “When you’re touching an old piece, you have to listen to the existing soul in the material.” This doesn’t necessarily mean using the exact same tools, but “you have to respect the soul of the craftsman who made it.”

Restoration work also requires more skill. “For a new piece, we follow the design instructions. Of course it still requires skill, but there aren’t so many surprises in the process. Nothing like the old pieces. When you restore an object, you have to fix every little detail. And you need to be very careful because older material can be more vulnerable.”


在进行修复工作时,与其他铁匠的联系更为深刻。事实上,每一件锻造而成的作品都会带上制作者的灵魂,即使那个人已经不在。 Sĩ 说:“当你触摸到历史悠久的作品时,你必须去聆听金属中既有的灵魂。” 这并不意味你要用完全相同的工具,而是要 “尊重制作这件作品的工匠的灵魂”。


While Sĩ discovered this passion mostly by accident, his dedication has set him on track to becoming one of the top blacksmiths of Vietnam. “I’m willing to do the same thing ten times, twenty times even—because it means I’m improving myself,” he tells us. “I’m very patient. That’s just who I am.”

虽然 Sĩ 对于铁匠的热情是偶然的发现,但他已经决心成为越南的顶级铁匠之一。“即使是同样的作品我也愿意做十次,甚至二十次,因为这意味着我在不断提升自己。” 他告诉我们,“我很有耐心,我就是这样的人。”

Contributors: Annigje Jacobs, Brice Godard
Photographer & Videographer: Brice Godard

供稿人: Annigje Jacobs, Brice Godard
图片及视频摄影师: Brice Godard

Gentle Giants

September 19, 2018 2018年9月19日

Like a modern reimagining of Alice in Wonderland, Tran Nguyen‘s works show gigantic young women and wild beasts towering above tiny houses, set against seas of fog and distant mountains. Born in Vietnam and raised in the U.S., Nguyen creates works that seem less like paintings than scenes from a fantasy film.

无限放大的少女和野生动物,在迷雾之中秉烛夜游;同比缩小的城堡与远山,让人疑惑这是否如当代版的梦游仙境——这些画面,出自生于越南、长于美国的艺术家 Tran Nguyen 之手。与其说是绘画,不如说这样的作品更肖似童话电影的布景。

Growing up between contrasting Vietnamese and American cultures, Nguyen has long been fascinated with dichotomies. How can two concepts be both parallel and perpendicular at the same time? It’s all dependent on perspective — ideas that initially seem incompatible with one another may actually be complementary once you examine the relationship between them. This understanding carries over into her art, which are masterful balancing acts that makes use of a multitude of contrasts. “Though I’m naturally drawn to melancholic narratives, I added the animal companions to make the painting feel less solemn,” she notes as an example. “The scale of the characters is also meant to contrast against the ordinary environments that each scene is set in, adding a sense of majesty and surrealism.”

越南与美国两个国度不同的文化冲突,让 Tran 一直以来对分化对立很感兴趣。两个不同的概念如何平行又垂直相交呈现?这完全取决于观点——一旦你审视他们之间的关系,最初似乎彼此不相容的想法,实际上可能是相互补充的。她的艺术作品也正利用这种矛盾创造了巧妙的平衡。“我很自然地被忧郁的故事所吸引,但我加入了动物伙伴,让这幅画不那么严肃。” Tran 说,“而人物放大缩小的比例,给了画面中角色以一种威严和超现实主义的感觉。”

“Ultimately, I want my viewers to reflect and feel a sense of well-being from my art,” she says. “However they perceive my work, I hope it somehow puts them at ease, especially if they feel down on their luck.”

“我希望观众能够从其中反映出一种幸福感。希望能这些画让他们感到轻松,尤其当他们感到时运不济的时候。” Tran 如是说。

Website: www.mynameistran.com
: @mynameistran
Behance: ~/trannguyen

Contributor: Chen Yuan

网站: www.mynameistran.com
: @mynameistran
Behance: ~/trannguyen

供稿人: Chen Yuan


April 24, 2018 2018年4月24日
Persona -Oct 7, 2015-

Ao Kim Ngân (aka Yatender) is a Vietnamese photographer who enjoys being in front of the lens. She shoots self-portraits that capture her own feminine essence in all of its authenticity, vulnerability, and sensitivity. From peculiar poses alongside household furnishing to drips of menstrual blood dispersing in toilet water, Yatender’s softly lit photos are surreal but intimate. Despite having achieved an aesthetic and style that’s easily recognizable, Yatender humbly tells us, “I actually never think of myself as a ‘photographer,’ as I usually only take photos for myself.”

越南摄影师  Ao Kim Ngân (a.k.a Yatender) 喜欢把镜头对着自己,捕捉自己身为一个女性, 最真实、最脆弱、最敏感的时刻。在柔和的光线中,她拍摄自己摆的奇怪的身体,经血落在马桶里自然散开的红晕、或是和家中一些摆设的互动……透过日常的物件,当然还有她自己,创造一种既亲密又迷离的氛围。尽管早就自成独特的摄影风格,但她说 “我从不觉得我是一个摄影师。因为我拍自己,也只为自己拍照。”

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“Before I started photographing myself, I was my first love’s muse for a long time,” she recalls. “After I started to develop a sense for photography and considered creating something with a camera of my own, I felt there was something missing in the process of making photos with others, so I chose to shoot and work with myself. It made sense to me because who else knows how we wish to be captured in front of the camera better than ourselves?”


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And thus, the Persona series was born. In the early days of the series, Yatender solely shot with a digital camera. But four months into the project, she picked up her first point-and-shoot film camera and fell in love with the graininess and subdued tones that comes with shooting analog. “I found that there are some limitations with shooting film that really amazed me: the unexpected results, the excitement of waiting for a roll to be developed, the strangeness and unusualness of a ‘bad outcome,’ and so on. It’s these unique qualities that have made me such a huge film lover.”

当《自画像》(《Persona》) 系列刚开始进行时,Yatender 用的是数位相机,四个月后她得到一台底片相机,从此就用底片拍摄。赋予了她作品中这样温柔的色调和特别明显的颗粒感。“我想我喜欢用底片的原因是它的限制——无法预期的结果、和等待它们被冲印出来那种紧张的期待感。最不寻常的惊喜常常都是来自一张‘坏掉’的照片。”

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For Yatender, photography isn’t merely a way for her to capture specific moments of her life. She often doesn’t face the camera in her self-portraits, purposeful avoiding eye contact with viewers. Other times, a movement or lone body part may be the sole focus of a photo. With this approach, she sees her photography as being more of a vessel for her emotions. “This process helps me learn how to accept feelings as a part of our body,” she explains. “To me, the most important thing is being honest with yourself about how you feel – even when you’re hurt or not feeling well. We’re human beings. We’re sensitive and vulnerable creatures, and it’s okay to not always be okay when it comes to dealing with anxiety, stress, or depression.”

Yatender 想透过摄影捕捉的不仅仅止于她某个瞬间当下的样子。很多时候她选择背对镜头,不与我们对视,透过一个肢体动作,她想记录下来的是自己的感受。“情绪也是身体延伸出的一部份。对我来说,最重要的是要对自己的感受诚实——不管你是受伤了、或是感觉不好 。我们都是人类,是敏感、脆弱的生物。并不需要一直假装感觉良好,尤其是当焦虑、压力、忧郁来临的时候。”

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“My life is actually pretty ordinary – sometimes quite boring,” Yatender confesses. “The fact that I only feel alive and driven to take photos when I’m traveling means that I’m often struggling to find inspiration here in Vietnam. It’s hard to stay in one place for too long and still maintain productivity.”

She admits feeling disheartened by the stagnation of Vietnam’s creative environment, believing that the art scene is severely hampered by the country’s authoritarian governance. However, at the same time, she remains optimistic towards the future. It’s limited, underdeveloped – but it is growing – albeit slowly. I truly believe that it will change in time. There are a lot of good opportunities for young artists here to develop themselves and their work.”


谈到越南的艺术创作环境,Yatender 抱著有点灰心、但依然乐观的态度。她认为越南是个被政府控管的社会,艺术产业受到相当程度的限制。“即使现在越南的艺术环境还没完全发展起来,但是已经有在成长了,以一种缓慢的速度。这是我的看法,年轻的艺术家有越来越多机会,我相信情况总有一天会变得更好。”

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Instagram: @yaothemoon


Contributor: Yang Yixuan

网站: cargocollective.com/yatender
Instagram: @yaothemoon


供稿人: Yang Yixuan

Vietnamese & Unapologetically Queer

March 7, 2018 2018年3月7日

It started simple. Back in 2014, two Vietnamese-American artists, Aiden and Nu, came back to their hometown Saigon where they found the artistic and LGBTQ communities fragmented. Within but a few months of their summer holiday, Aiden, Nu, and Đăng Bùi (an old friend who became the third team member) attempted to connect with other underground queer artists with the purpose of collaborating on a zine. The result was a global publication that focused on literary and visual arts produced by LGBTQ Vietnamese creatives. Its quirky title, Vănguard, is a play on words that combines the Vietnamese word văn, which roughly translates into literature and culture, and the English word “vanguard,” which means the forefront of an action or movement. After four issues, Vănguard continues to shape the local and international queer Vietnamese art scene with its unconventional approach to the artistic process and to community organizing.

一切的开始很简单。2014 年,两名越南裔的美籍艺术家 Aiden 和 Nu 回到他们的家乡西贡,在那里,他们发现,当地的艺术和 LGBTQ 社群(男/女同性恋、双性恋、跨性别者构成的社群)就像一盘散沙。在暑假的几个月里,Aiden、Nu 和他们的老朋友 Dang(后来成为了第三位成员)四处联系其他地下同性艺术家,合作打造一本独立杂志(zine)。最终,他们成功推出一本专注越南 LGBTQ 创意者的文艺和视觉艺术杂志,并在全球范围内出版发行。


From Maika Elan’s The Pink Choice, a photo series that won the World Press Photo award in 2013 to the decriminalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, Vietnam is recognized as a pioneer within the LGBTQ rights movement in Southeast Asia. Yet, despite such hopeful progress in gained rights and visibility, it’s worth noting that the representation of this marginalized group in mainstream media is largely produced for the sake of driving awareness on LGBTQ issues to the general public, yet not directly advocating for social change or full acceptance. For the LGBTQ Vietnamese artists who seek an alternative space to explore their sexuality, to discover community, and to share their artwork, there lacked a platform free from judgment, external validation, and the boundaries of censorship. Seeking to fill in this gap, Vănguard quickly evolved from a personal venture into a community project that connects LGBTQ Vietnamese creatives across the globe and is now commonly regarded as a bastion where queer artistic expressions are rightly celebrated and concerns openly voiced.

从 2013 年越南摄影师 Maika Elan 的摄影系列The Pink Choice(《粉色选项》)获得了世界新闻摄影奖(World Press Photo award),再到越南 2015 年废除了同性婚姻禁令,这个国度一直被认为是东南亚 LGBTQ 权利运动中的先驱。然而,尽管在权利和社会能见度方面取得了令人鼓舞的进展,但这一边缘化群体在主流媒体中的代表性质,却主要是为了教育大众而产生的。对于寻求替代空间来探讨性取向、发现社区、分享作品的越南 LGBTQ 艺术家来说,还缺乏一个不带评判、无需受外界审视、能够避开审查制度的平台。

为了填补这一缺口,《Vănguard》迅速从原来的个人项目发展成为一个社区项目,连接起遍布全球的越南 LGBTQ 创意人才。如今,《Vănguard》被视为是一个同性艺术创作的堡垒,让他们得以自由表达,为各种问题发声。

Their choice to use the zine as a medium boils down to its low production cost, which in turn makes Vănguard more accessible for everyone to obtain and participate its making. Its self-published and decidedly underground status allows artists to dodge the painstaking process of seeking approval either from the Vietnamese government, from the publishing house, or even from the audience. Since there are no rules, the potential is unfettered.


Artworks featured in Vănguard are selected through an open call, which reflects the breadth of issues and approaches pursued by queer artists with Vietnamese heritage. While the four issues revel in diversity both in form and content, what ties the works together is the commonality of subversion. Such transgression comes not only from the subject matter (identities, sex, politics, to name a few), but also from an in-your-face rebuttal to the mainstream media, which, for better or worse, has always rendered the LGBTQ community in a family-friendly light. Rejecting the sympathetic trope of victims suffering from societal rejections and doomed romance, artists featured in Vănguard reclaim what it means to be queer through whimsical wordplay, unabashed imagery, and disarming recollections of personal experiences.

《Vănguard》通过公开征集、筛选杂志中的艺术作品,致力展现越南艺术家的艺术创作与各种各样的话题。虽然目前出版的四期杂志在形式和内容上都充满多样性,但无一例外,都是极具颠覆性的。《Vănguard》的颠覆不仅在于其主题(身份、性别、政治等),还在于其对主流媒体的直面反驳,这也为 LGBTQ 社群提供了一种像家和朋友一样安全、友好的环境。《Vănguard》艺术家拒绝那种不被社会认同的受害者姿态或是悲剧式的浪漫主义,相反,他们以异想天开的文字游戏,不加掩饰的影象和令人放下心防的个人经历,来重新定义同性恋群体。

Catering to their international audience, Vănguard’s first three issues were designed digitally and published through both physical and online forms. In 2017 however, with the surge in local handmade zines and self-published art books throughout Vietnam, Vănguard’s fourth issue pursued a more innovative approach by paying tribute to the fundamental practice of zine making: manual assemblage. The latest issue is separated into two sections for writing and artworks. Still grounded in the signature cut and paste aesthetic of past issues, every individual page comes to life and transports the audience to a different space and time through the use of various techniques, materials, and textures. The zine is a piece of art in itself that retains the DIY spirit without compromising complexity. For the construction, “[we] used old books, common art supplies, sandpaper, votive paper, tin foil, chalk, duct tape, acrylic paint, thread, decal, binder clips, and much more,” shares Aiden, the creative director of Vănguard. He points out the zine’s chaotic visuals, bursting with colors and textures, are influenced by his own sporadic and spontaneous personality.

为了照顾到全球各地的读者,《Vănguard》前三期都是通过电脑设计,同时在线上和线下发布。然而,在 2017 年,随着越南国内手工制作独立杂志和自出版艺术书籍的流行,第四期的《Vănguard》采取了一种更具创意的制作方式——手工装订,同时也是向最传统的杂志制作工艺致敬。

最新一期的杂志分为写作和艺术作品两部分。延续往期杂志的标志性剪切粘贴式美学风格,每一页的设计焕发蓬勃能量,并通过使用各种工艺、材料和纹理带领读者穿越到不同的空间和时间。独立杂志本身就是一种艺术,既秉承了 DIY 的精神,又保证了设计的精致性。 《Vănguard》创意总监 Aiden 这样描述杂志的创意设计:“(我们)用的材料包括旧书、普通美术用品、砂纸、祈愿信纸、锡纸、粉笔、胶带、丙烯酸涂料、绳线、贴花纸、装订夹等等。”他解释,看似杂乱无章的视觉效果,充满丰富的色彩和纹理,都是受到了他自己随性与自发的个性影响。

Behind this labor of love is not just the central team and the contributing artists, but also a motley gang of community members who spent countless hours putting it all together. After a prototype for each submission has been designed, an open call for volunteer assemblers was initiated. In 2017, for the entire month of June, Aiden’s apartment became an assembly line of queers with art tools in one hand and a can of beer in the other. As they bonded through this artistic process, the volunteers, organizers, and artists not only formed an intimate relationship with the final product, but they also forged lasting friendships with each other. Vănguard‘s fourth issue is a proud product of communal collaboration, created for the community by the community.

这本承载着爱与努力的杂志,是由团队和投稿艺术家,以及一群团结一致的社群成员,一起花了无数个日夜才制作出来的。在设计好每份投稿之后,他们会公开征集志愿者进行装订。整个六月里,Aiden 的公寓成了同性恋者的“装配线”,他们一手拿着艺术工具,另一只手里则拿着一罐啤酒。在这种艺术创作过程中,志愿者、组织者和艺术家接近着彼此的距离,他们不仅与最终的成品杂志有了更亲密的联系,同时还在互相间建立了持久的友谊。所以说,第四期《Vănguard》是令人骄傲的社群合作成果,也是为了“骄傲”社群本身。

Originating from radical movements like punk rock and third-wave feminism, zine culture has always been about challenging the status quo. For Vănguard, the point is less about creating a masterpiece and more about bringing people together and encouraging every artist to keep pushing their creative boundaries. While not intentionally political, its very concept of being self-published, uncensored, and unpolished is rebellious to the core. The form of activism Vănguard pursues is through community building, and as the community grows, it becomes irrelevant to categorize their activism.

While physical copies of Vanguard Issue #4 were only made available to those who participated in the workshop in Vietnam, all four issues of the zine are available digitally to be read for free on their website. Click here to check it out.

独立杂志的文化,起源于朋克摇滚(punk rock)和第三波女权主义的兴起,一直以来主题都会涉及到对现状的挑战。就像对《Vănguard》来说,关键不在于创作一部杰作,而在于将人们团结在一起,并鼓励每一位艺术家不断开拓他们的创作空间和界限。虽然不是出于政治目的,但其独立出版、未经审查、未经修饰的概念本身就极具叛逆性的核心意义。《Vănguard》所追求的活动形式本身就是通过社区建设实现的,随着社区的发展,再将这样的活动分门别类,就显得无关紧要了。


Website: www.vanguardzine.com


Contributor & Photographer: Ha Dao
Additional Images Courtesy of RICE

网站: www.vanguardzine.com


供稿人与摄影师: Ha Dao
附加图片由 RICE 提供

First Generation

January 23, 2018 2018年1月23日



First Generation is a short film from directors Jeannie Nguyen and Andrew Yuyi Truong that showcases the Asian-American coming-of-age experience. Set in the 1990s, the film follows protagonist My-Linh, a young, misled Vietnamese-American girl who must decide how she will fit into the two worlds that she inhabits. With the absence of her overworked mom, she must rely on the guidance of her friends and the media to understand where she belongs.

《First Generation》是由 Jeannie NguyenAndrew Yuyi Truong 导演的一部短片,讲述的是亚裔美国年轻人的青春成长故事。影片故事发生在二十世纪九十年代,主角 My-Linh 是一位年轻且迷惘的越南裔美国女孩,如何融入自己所居住的两个世界是让她一直苦恼的问题。由于母亲的工作过于忙碌,对于 My-Linh 来说,她只能依靠朋友和媒体的指引,才能了解她的归属所在。

Initially sparked by the concept of showcasing Asian-American female style during the 1990s, the film was shot over the course of two long days in May of 2017. Jeannie tells Neocha, “We’re from the Bay Area, and we’re not too sure if the style spanned across the States, but it was unique and a somewhat rebellious way of presenting oneself – heavy set make-up, extra-wide baggy pants juxtaposed with tiny tank tops, hair done in half cornrows, and embellished with glittery butterfly clips. Looking back at it now, it’s interesting to us to see how this minority group rocked such a bold style. So after, we figured that we wanted to create a film during this time period and tackle issues of beauty and fitting in.”

这在 2017 年 5 月拍摄了长达两天的短片,最初的灵感是想展现 20 世纪 90 年代美国亚裔女性的风格。Jeannie 告诉 Neocha:“我们来自美国湾区,所以也不太确定当时的服装风格是不是在美国各地都流行,那是一种独特又有点叛逆的个性风格:浓艳的妆容,大号宽松的裤子搭配紧身的小背心,半侧头发扎着地垄沟辫(cornrow,非洲辫的一种),再别上闪亮的蝴蝶发夹。现在回想起来,一个少数团体会有这样大胆的风格,挺让人意外的,也挺有意思的。所以,之后我们就决定以这段时期为背景拍一部电影,探讨当时的审美风格和社会融入的问题。”

One of the primary themes of the film is the impact of mainstream media on identity, self-image, and perceptions of beauty. Jeannie shares, “As with many young minority females, when I was younger, I never truly understood how I fit in with society. With the media being a huge subconscious influence, I felt less of a woman when I saw blue-eyed, blonde models who were in every beauty commercial and graced the cover of every beauty magazine and. I was brainwashed by the media and started to resent my Asian descent. When we were represented in the media, we’re known as submissive and nerdy. Luckily, my mom canceled cable so I stopped watching television beginning my high school year, and I truly believe that helped me realize that the majority of things we’re exposed to is nonsense. With that idea in mind, we wanted to create a film that young Asian-Americans can relate to – a movie that can help them see through the bullshit.”

这部电影的主题之一,旨在探讨主流媒体如何影响人们的身份认同、自我形象和审美。Jeannie 说:“和许多少数团体里的年轻女孩一样,我年轻的时候一直都不知道怎样才能真正融入这个社会。而且媒体会对人们有巨大的潜意识影响,当我看到所有时尚杂志和广告中,总是出现金发碧眼的模特时,我会觉得自己不如她们好看。我被媒体洗脑,开始憎恨自己身上的亚裔血统。那时的媒体总是将我们描述成顺从且乖巧的书呆子。所幸我妈妈后来取消了有线电视,所以我在高一的时候就不看电视了,我真心觉得这才帮助我意识到,之前我们在媒体上看到的大部分东西都是无稽之谈。有了这个想法后,我们就想要拍一部年轻亚裔美国人有共鸣的电影,帮助大家看穿这些‘谎言’。”

Under Great Northern Skies

January 2, 2018 2018年1月2日

Quinn Ryan Mattingly is an American freelance photographer and photojournalist who has been based in Vietnam for over a decade. His photojournalism career began in 2009 when he first undertook a photographer position at a magazine in Saigon. Since then, he has taken on assignments for notable clients such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, World Health Organization, and The Global Fund, among many others. In addition to editorial and commercial assignments, Mattingly dedicates himself to a series of personal projects, including his ongoing series, Under Great Northern Skies. Inspired by his first trip to the rural regions of Northern Vietnam in 2007, the project would not officially begin until 2011 when Mattingly became reacquainted with the region on a work assignment. Since then, he has visited the region at least once per year to explore new areas and to create new images. Mattingly tells us more about the series below in his own words.

美国自由摄影师和摄影记者Quinn Ryan Mattingly已经在越南生活了10多年。他的新闻摄影生涯开始于2009年,当时他在西贡一间杂志担任摄影师的工作。从那时起,他开始为许多著名的客户工作,包括《纽约时报》(The New York Times)、华盛顿邮报(The Washington Post)、世界卫生组织和全球基金(The Global Fund)。除了杂志和商业作品,Mattingly还一直致力打造一系列的个人项目,包括他目前正在进行的《Under Great Northern Skies》系列。这个摄影项目的灵感源于他在2007年第一次探访越南北部农村地区的旅程,但项目正式开始是在2011年,当时Mattingly因为工作原因,再次踏足这个地区。从那时起,他每年至少都会到这里一次,去探索新的领域,创作新的影像。以下是有关这个系列Mattingly自己更详细的介绍。

“In my travels, I don’t think I’ve ever found a nation that differs so vastly from north to south as Vietnam. According to my own, admittedly fabricated, lore, I imagine the great hills and sharp peaks of the north as the scaly, rugged head of the dragon. The body winds its way down the majestic panoramas of coastline, ending in a collection of tails in the Mekong Delta.”


“These images, captured on several excursions in the region over the years, are a look at the lives and land of Vietnam’s great North. Busy city streets are nowhere to be found. Instead, bikes barely more durable than scooters ply their way up and down the pastoral slopes on imperfect trails, and trucks wind their way through endless curvature as the roads ascend and fall, all at a snail’s pace compared to the clip of city life. The work that sustains life comes in a much more manual flavor than it does in the cities as well, where even most earn a living only by long days and sweat of the brow. Here, a living can only be borrowed from the soil. Nothing valuable is given without effort.”


“And of course the faces are measurably different too. The Kinh language and features so familiar to us who’ve spent time in Vietnam are traded for ethnic features, dress, and cultures in numerous varieties – 54 if I’m not mistaken.”


“These hills hold great intrigue for me, offering sights and scenes not found anywhere else in the country, and I will surely make my way back again soon, when I hear the dragon calling myself and my lens away from the city and toward the great northern skies.”




Contributor: George Zhi Zhao



供稿人: George Zhi Zhao

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