Makét 02

Just Another Open Letter

Photograph courtesy of My Tran.

Dear friends and strangers, readers and viewers,

Over the years, we have come across Vietnamese photography that is richly varied in aesthetics and concepts. In our image-saturated world where photography has become more accessible and reproducible, we have noticed the practice gain more momentum as a trend while losing identity and integrity as an art form. This shift in our cultural understanding of photography has seen many artists slip under the radar. With this in mind, we hope to build a collective platform giving recognition to a growing number of artists who have refined their work into layered visual narratives that demand our attention and careful examination.

We are Matca, or ‘Mắt Cá’ in Vietnamese, which directly translates to ‘Fisheye’. The fisheye lens provides an ultra-wide angle view. In the same vein, Matca, as a collective, strives to turn a wide lens on an increasingly overlooked community of Vietnamese photographers so to reveal, if you will, the bigger picture. We wish for Matca to become a space where viewers are invited to take their time and reflect on the works, be they vernacular or conceptual. At its core, Matca will act as an alternate gathering space through which a local photographic community can showcase both completed works and works-in-progress.

Matca is not just a pretty face: we are also a platform for ideas and reflection. By inclusively building a photographic community, Matca will curate a safe space where artists can engage one another on an intellectual level, be it on the topic of photography or other points of interest, Matca aims to foster the exchange of ideas by encouraging members and visitors to share and challenge each other in a considerate and supportive manner. It is our goal to introduce Vietnamese audiences to a localised array of photographic works, as poignant in their concepts as they are in their aesthetics. To keep up with the continuous evolution of photography, Matca will keep evolving and provide a backbone for the Vietnamese photographic community whereby artists are acknowledged as thinkers who not only please the eye, but the mind.

As working Vietnamese photographers ourselves, we empathise with how hard gaining visibility and recognition can be. Much like a photograph, Matca is not a static image, but a story with a voice. We hope that you believe in what we are doing and join us in this exciting journey.

Photo love,

With heartfelt thanks to Sarah Lo, Jill Tan and Talia Carboni for your invaluable editing!