Three years have passed by in a blink of an eye. From our humble beginning as an online photography journal, Matca have evolved across many platforms, established a physical space and initiated a publishing project. The rapid development, combined with our flexible organizational structure, gives no easy answer to the question “So what exactly is Matca?”. We know that even if we keep searching, a definitive conclusion will become ever more elusive. But it will unfold itself along the process of reconstruction, in between breaks to reflect on our own journey.
As you might have already spotted, today we are launching an updated version of https://matca.vn/ – our very core product. This is the result of months of constant behind-the-scenes work, namely to restructure the website, redesign the interface, diversify page layout styles, integrate animation and video formats, enhance interactivity, among other things. These adjustments might seem trivial, but they reflect the commitment to deliver well-thought-out experiences to our audience.
We are proud to be the only place in Vietnam that develops original content specializing in photography, with an ever-growing archive of more than 200 articles in English and Vietnamese contributed by numerous writers and artists. Every single piece has been reviewed and categorized under a fitting series of tags. The idea is to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, hassle-free: from photography genre (portrait,street photography, or analog), to article type (interview, feature, or opinion) to theme (youth,family, identity, etc). Our most-viewed projects and discussions will resurface on the homepage to invite renewed engagement.
We have been contemplating whether to expand our editorial coverage or to keep focusing on producing in-depth articles. In a time when digital publishing reigns, quality online content has further cemented its position, instead of being overshadowed by instant listicles. As it turns out, our belief in the value and joy of good writing is hard to shake, and Matca will keep elevating long-form, carefully researched pieces that reflect the varied practices of photography in Vietnam.
We have also elaborated on the function of and collaborative opportunities with Matca Space for Photography. Yet the most exciting news is the launch of our first-ever Matca Shop. Joining the developing trend to collect art online, the platform aims to connect artists and buyers who are looking to sell and collect photographic works but not knowing where to begin. The potential of emerging photographers and an increasingly refined audience taste are two essential elements for the domestic photography market to thrive. What is lacking is a platform to enable simple and transparent transactions, which we hope to achieve with this online, carefully curated shop. Now, at the convenience of your home, you can begin your own collection with a photobook or a small print from a photographer you love. The selection will continue to grow, so watch this space.
While three years is not a long period of time, it’s definitely not short either, especially for an independent non-profit project with very limited resources. The site has a new look, but what is fundamental remains: to expand conversations around photography in Vietnam. Introducing the novel iteration of our website amidst these trying times, we are as hopeful and curious as when it first came out in 2016. We hope that our current readers will welcome the changes, and new readers will join us in this ongoing, eventful journey.