Phnom Penh Photo 2012
There is a house by the sea 120km from Hanoi called Thien Giao. In this house the hearts of its occupants beats in unison for one hope, the hope that they will all be able to love and be loved. I visited this house one year ago, and it did not leave me any lasting impressions or feelings. I was there again recently, something had changed in the house, something has sparked and moved me to look into, to delve deeper into the bonds of the occupants of this house and the bonds between me and them.
The occupants are all victims of Agent Orange that have been abandonned and given up by their family. Founded by Mrs Huong this home cares for 10 Agent Orange victims. It is more than a care centre; it is a home where everyone is a family member, caring and loving . The victims are taught basic farming, cleaning, and caring for younger ones and basic labour skills. These give the victims more interaction and also help them be independent. All these reduce their tendency of becoming aggressive .
Apart from that, I am also surprised and touched by the idea of two occupants Hanh and Them getting married and forming a new family. Hanh and Them have through their time spent together in the home, shown signs of loving each other.
I have seen many documentaries about victims of Agent Orange and are often touched by their melancholy, despair and pain. In this series of photos, I wanted to capture the positive interactions and the happiness of the victims. There small and elusive moments that are rarely seen.
***Agent Orange is the common name of one of the herbicides used by US military as part of the warfare program during the Vietnam War from 1961-1971. It was later discovered that Agent Orange contains an extremely toxic dioxin compound. The idea of the US Military was to destroy forest, rural land and food crops thus depriving the guerillas of cover, and food supply. Vietnam estimates that 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with severe birth defects.
Is a freelance young photographer living in Hanoi he graduated with high degree from Hanoi University in Fine Art – 2009, he is a self taught photographer since 2007 . His works primarily focus on documentary .
He is still seeking a way to make noticeable differences . Since 2010 He joined major photography activities:
- He was one of two Vietnamese photographers selected to attend the Angkor Workshop for 30 young emerging photographers in Asia, he was instructed by Patric De Noimont and Andrea Star Reese, honored with second prize for his photo-essay named “Possible Life”.
– In 2010, He also joined the photography project sponsored by Photographie Magazine, Maison Gallery, Bui Gallery, Chateau la Coste…this project called 24h all over the world in various cities such as Paris, Beijing, ShangHai, New York and Hanoi…
Photo Phnom Penh festival
From December 8 – 13, 2012