#matcaspotlight August ’17 Collection

This August Matca is delighted to invite Fungi, a Vietnamese German photographer and also our good friend to choose her 5 favorites from #matcaspotlight. Majoring in Literature before picking up the camera, Fungi provides commentary as sensitive and intriguing as herself.

Scrolling through the conglomeration of modern Vietnamese photography from #matcaspotlight, I see a growing consciousness – not only about oneself, but also about the surrounding the photographers are living in. This medium connects people and matters in a vital exchange; both introspection and outrospection shape and nourish an awareness for individualism. I hope the interests in photography motivate the catcher of light and the viewer to be more caring with our environment so individualism doesn’t get stuck within ego. Beauty is everywhere and easy to consume, but to preserve it is one of our duties as photographers and as humans.

1. Photo by ducvu1310.
Sometimes, pictures of our environment recall our (collective) memory. Grown up in Germany, I learned about WWII at an early age. I was eager to imagine and understand that dark chapter of mankind. This picture reminds me of a photograph of scratches caused by desperate human beings with their naked fingers on a dark wall within a gas chamber in Auschwitz. This landscape of light filtered through the shadows of the woods immediately woke up this feeling I had when something so shocking hit my chest as the image of the scratches did.

2. Photo by lee.arc.
I had to giggle, cause it made me feel like these two men – one in 3D / real life, one as a 2D / soul coming to life. The guy in the picture within the picture is like the ward of the cook’s back, who live happily together in a loyal long-term relationship. The photo guy (who’s way cooler than Snow White’s stepmom’s mirror dude) is like “Yo bro, you got customers. Turn around and rock some dishes!“. Photography lets the ones who see more than what is depicted enjoy observing their environment and bringing life into banal things.

3. Photo by quangnguyen1511.
My mind is so twisted and this picture fooled me. I first thought the elder lady got a decent slap from the other woman in a The White Stripes suitable PJ’s, especially because the stone hard fist at the end of the clenched massive arm (but it is holding a bag, as I recognized later). The sitting lady’s hair is a bit messy, which supported my assumption.

So I was reminded again the importance of re-reading pictures and reading captions. While the assumption might not be true, the colors evoked a baroque feeling and the assumed situation gave me a “memento mori“ chill.

4. Photo by foxbeta_photo.
I like this picture because it has something theatrical in it. People with conical hats seem to follow a slow contemporary choreography under a modern light installation. The woman on the left, dipped in darkness, sits there as if she also was part of the play, a participating narrator and prompter of the spectators’ dreams. As Shakespeare put it: “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players (…).”

Every day, there is so much to see. If we capture it with our consciousness, we may store it behind our eyes’ curtains and replay at night, only for ourselves.

5. Photo by phongsmonologues.
I don’t know the intention behind this picture. I just guess that the tree got rid of its vital leaves to catch fog instead. How to catch fog? Fog is the unknown, the unpredictable, softening and adding a heavier grey to all colors. You can let it surround you, be close to it, but not grasp it. Projected on human life, I think that some people choose to give up or let go things which are essential and familiar just to be able to touch something they would like to feel, even though it may not belong to them. Deeper than life sustaining is life fulfilling.

Fungi (Phuong Tran Minh) was born in Hanoi and raised in Germany. After graduating in Literature and Linguistics at University of Potsdam, Germany in 2012, she started a new career with photography in Berlin. Her works focus on post war issues, contemporary artists portrait and landscape with a documentary approach. She got her first solo exhibition titled “Tomorrowland” about Vietnamese young agent orange victims in Paris, 2015. She is splitting her time between Germany and Vietnam.