Artist of the Month - December - Thanh Vuong
5 months ago
Portrait, Thanh Vuong
- what was the first photography book you bought?
Days With My Father by Phillip Toledano, a visual record Toledano kept of his father, and of their relationship, before his father's passing. There’s a clarity, gentleness, sincerity and quiet reflection in the images that is deeply moving. I still have 3 copies of the book.
-What is your favourite colour?
- who are your photographic influences?
Wilhelm Von Gloeden. Trent Parke. William Eugene Smith. George Platt Lynes. Robert Mapplethorpe. George Dureau. The list goes on.
- what is your favourite museum?
It’s impossible to pick just one! But my most memorable museum visit is that one time to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. I was there on a tour trip in 2018, and what was supposed to be an hour-long visit was shortened to 15 minutes because the group was behind schedule, art was not as high on the agenda as shopping for my fellow travellers. I had two minutes to stand in front of Napoleon Bonaparte Crossing Saint Bernard’s Pass by Jacques-Louis David, two minutes to study Lady with An Ermine by Leonardo Da Vinci. I saw flashes of Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraits and James McNeill Whistler’s Arrangement In Black and Grey No.1. What I would not do to revisit this stark-white museum built in the middle of a desert!
- if you could buy any photograph which would it be?
The Tetons and the Snake River (1942) by Ansel Adams.
- your favourite holiday destination?
I will have to say Vietnam, specifically Saigon (where I was born), or Ho Chi Minh City, as it is known now. Although my family migrated to Australia when I was very young, I still feel a strong attachment to this S-shaped land. There’s something deeply instinctual in going back to your home country; the sights, sounds and scents are always familiar, despite everything that changes. I still remember my old school, the little classroom, my teachers and friends. And the hot summer months when the schoolyard is empty, when the Phoenix flowers bloom blood red, and the sound of cicadas fill the air.
- if there is one living person you could photograph who would it be?
Daniel Radcliffe because I've been a die-hard Harry Potter fan since way back when. He has an incredibly beautiful face (watch Victor Frankenstein directed by Paul McGulgan for reference, terrible movie though) and seems to be a genuinely nice guy!
- what is your guilty pleasure?
I love to watch Japanese anime on the weekends while munching on all kinds of Asian snacks. I have quite a formidable collection of anime DVDs and figurines actually.
- what is your favourite city?
Definitely Melbourne, where I currently live and work. There’s a reason why this city has been named the most liveable city in the world quite a few times now. I don’t think you can compare it to New York or London or Paris because it does not have the allure and glamour that these metropolises have. What you can find here though is plenty of space, a relaxed, down-to-earth vibe that is quintessentially Australian, four seasons in one day, and all the bronzed Aussie men in boardshorts you can imagine (wink).
- which charities do you support?
I support Wear It Purple, a not-for-profit Australian organisation that provides help and support to youths who identify as members of the LGBTIQ+ community or ‘rainbow youths’ (the most adorable name!). The organisation was founded in 2010 in response to queer youths taking their own lives as a result of bullying and harassment from the lack of acceptance of their sexuality or gender identity. Wear It Purple encourages everyone to wear purple on the last Friday of August every year to show rainbow youths they are loved, supported and empower them to bring their whole self to life.
In My Garden The Trees Are Changing, 2017
|Dreaming Of Mischief, 2017||Spring By Dwight's Falls, 2017|
|Searching For Open Skies, 2017||An Allegory Of Beauty, 2017|