State of Youth.
Until 7 February 2015
American photographer and cinematographer Jamie Maxtone-Graham has produced numerous portfolios since moving to live in Hanoi full time in 2007. Through these bodies of work, he looks to locate his place within a given environment or, at least, to define some relationship with it.
His understanding of life in Vietnam began with a visit in 1990 to shoot the feature documentary From Hollywood to Hanoi. In 2007-08 he became a Fullbright Research Fellow. With the simple idea of photographing Western influence on contemporary Vietnamese youth culture, he learned that 'none of it is...clear or neat or simple...It's very nuanced and complex.'
While direct Western influence may exist, it is often 'more likely filtered through the popular cultural iterations of more developed countries in the region: Japan, South Korea, Taiwan'. State of Youth is the resulting body of work. The full series consists of 40 images.
Jamie's background has moved between commercial and narrative cinematography and photography and could be described as bordering on 'social realist with a theatrical edge'. Turning to predominantly portraiture in 2009, this recent series demonstrates a deep sensitivity towards his 'collaborators', and observations on the passing of time and mortality. Touching on Colonialism and ideas of the 'outsider', Jamie explores ways of flattening power relations, searching to create works that are not ideological or representative, but rather 'open-ended...no question to answer or theme to impose.'
This exhibition was coordinated by artist Mai Nguyen-Long during a recent Hanoi visit. For more about Jamie's work visit jamiemaxtonegraham.com.