Persona 自画像

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。”

Persona -May, 2015-
Persona -Feb 1, 2017-
Persona -Jul, 2015-

“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?”


Persona -Oct 1, 2015-
Persona -Oct 4, 2015-
Persona -Oct 5, 2015-

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。”

Persona -Oct 6, 2015-
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Persona -Apr 1, 2017-
Persona -Oct 11, 2015-

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

Instagram: @yaothemoon


供稿人: Yang Yixuan