Matca is honored to have #matcaspotlight October ’18 Collection curated by Pham Tuan Ngoc, photographer and founder of Noirfoto Darkroom-Studio-Gallery – a haven for analog photography lovers in Saigon.
While browsing photos for this month’s collection, I was reminded of the days when I was working as magazine photo editor. The biggest difference is that while each article comes with specific purpose and criteria, there are no such standards in curating a plethora of diverse photos from #matcaspotlight. After browsing for several times, I realized that it was impossible to pick a “better” photo in any way; so I had better follow my instincts instead. I started to imagine standing in a gallery where I could pick any photo to bring back home.
1. Photo by cold.foto.
A neon-pink glove floating in a cold space. What does the author want to say? As to abstract images, you only need to care about the feelings they conjure. To me, it’s chaos and subtle fear; it is irritating yet at the same time captivating to look at.
2. Photo by hieutruong_photo.
This photo makes total use of negative space with painterly clear-cut shapes. It’s not easy to capture such a moment, angle and structure.
3. Photo by iamthaivuong
I had to look closely and tried to jog my memory to finally confirm that this photo was actually taken in Hanoi. The image reminds me that Hanoi as I imagine/ remember and Hanoi as it is now are vastly different. So are many other things in this life.
4. Photo by trungkien_96.
This photo is also about Hanoi but a familiar Hanoi that exists in my memory with street stalls, drizzles and an empty Old quarter. Beside its visual appeal, the picture with a blue overtone and several blue objects reminds me of Picasso’s Blue Period. What stirs curiosity are Lavie carton boxes placed upside down with a Saigon Special box on top and the drowsy vendor in the early morning of Lunar New Year. Wearing shiny shoes, is he planning to open his stall?
5. Photo by nguyenduytuan3991.
I really like this single photo and believe that it will be much more exciting if it becomes part of a series. Dazzling light with high contrast embodies chaotic mourning sounds of the night. It is not easy to come across a photo with the power to transmit sounds. Similarly, the other one calls to mind primitive earth, when there was underground lava on the surface and beaming stars in the dark universe. I would encourage the author to continue working towards a complete series.
Pham Tuan Ngoc is a practitioner that mostly works with analog B&W photography. He founded Noirfoto Darkroom-Studio-Gallery in Saigon in 2017. At present, Ngoc is completing his exhibition of photos taken in Paris due at the beginning of 2019 at Noirfoto Gallery, while continuing to experiment with new materials for his personal projects. He frequently organizes photography-related activities and connects visual artists to their audience.