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Khanh Phan Thi
Khanh Phan Thi
Khanh Phan Thi

Khanh Phan Thi

Country: Vietnam
Birth: 1985

Hi I'm Khanh Phan, I'm 34 and I'm from Vietnam. I was born in 1985.
I was born in Quỳnh Phụ, Thái Bình, a mainly agricultural land. My parents were farmers. I currently work at the bank and I am a bank teller.
Photography is my passion. After a broken marriage in 2017, I was heartbroken and desperated and losing faith in life. Then I thought, I couldn't be like this forever, I needed to get over it and I bought a camera.
First I went to take photos of flowers in a park near my house, then I realized that Vietnam, my beloved country, has so many hidden fabulous natural and cultural scenes that only few places in the world have. I have been to many places, met and learned about the different regional customs and practices. I then took those pictures, posted them on social media, and became popular with my friends. Photography has changed my life, got me through difficult times and is now my only personal joy today.
At first I received strong opposition from my family. My mother thinks photography is too dangerous. I often have to go to the sunrise photograph from 4 am, come home after sunset. There are nights when I wait for the night dew, or milkyway, I have to be outside all night. My mother worried that I would be in danger of being robbed because women who go out late at night are very dangerous. And with my income, my mother is afraid that I will not be able to take care of my son and maintain a stable life if i pursues photography because photographic equipment is very expensive.
I have never taken a class in photography and photoshop, I myself researched and practiced on photoshop and learned the experience for myself. I have been taking pictures for 2 years.
Finally, with my own efforts, I received some small awards in photography, my mother believed in me and she supported my work.
Vietnam is a country with many feudal dynasties. The Vietnamese family is mainly patriarchal. Today Vietnamese women know how to fight for gender equality, a few participate in politics and hold important positions in the state, but the gender discrimination is still quite clear.
In addition to working for a living as a man does, we also hold the maternity role, take care of childeren and family, do the houseworks and rarely have the time to do the things we love.
In order to persue my passion for photography, I have to sacrifice my happiness. I could not get married again. My income is about 15 million VND per month (about 600$ per month). With that income, it is enough to raise my son and still has a small part of it for photography enthusiasts including equipments and travel expenses. I often had to take pictures alone, and experienced many life-threatening things like staying in the cemetery alone at night when waiting for the sunrise at the churchs in Thanh Xa, Bao Loc, Lam Dong, wrestling with waves at Hang Rai, Phan Rang seashores, climbing mountains, or wading into swamps. Sometimes I forget I'm a woman.
I have won a number of awards such as Sonyworld award 2019, Skypixel 2019, Drone award of Siena 2019 but some people do not recognize my ability and efforts. They think I'm lucky and for the reason that I am a woman.

Vietnam from Above

Vietnam is a beautiful country with a diverse culture. Each region will have many unique cultural features with traditional villages that are hundreds of years old. The Vietnamese people stick to the traditional profession and take it as a way of gratitude to their ancestors. Although the traditional profession is very hard and low-income compared to other modern jobs, the artisans still stick to the profession as flesh and blood and want to pass it on to future generations.
The daily lives and jobs of Vietnamese workers are recorded from above.
 

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Mark Coggins
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Graeme Williams
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Renowned photographer, David Goldblatt , took an interest in this work and this interaction led to a three-decade relationship in which he became both a mentor and a friend. The rights to my essay on Ivan Toms were bought by Life magazine the following year. Much of my work during this period was motivated by the desire to expose the social inequalities and racial divisions within my country. I eventually joined the strongly anti-apartheid collective, Afrapix and later became a founding member and manager of documentary collective, South Photographs. In 1989, the beginning of the end of apartheid was evident. I was eager to situate myself in a position that would afford me the best opportunities to witness the transition to democracy. I joined Reuters News Agency as permanent stringer and for the next five years, I became immersed in the events, both violent and momentous, that led up to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994. Many of my photographs from this period have taken on a life of their own. The image of Nelson Mandela walking out of prison with his wife, Winnie, has been exhibited and published worldwide. In 2008, as Barack Obama fought John McCain for the presidency, Newsweek magazine ran a story asking each candidate to choose an image that best personified their world view. Obama's team chose an image that I photographed in Thokoza township in 1991. Last year the same photograph became central in a high profile image-appropriation dispute between myself and New York artist, Hank Willis Thomas. There was a massive groundswell of support from colleagues and media from around the world. An amicable settlement was reached. Since 1994 I have concentrated on producing personalized and contemporary bodies of work that reflect this complex country and the continent as a whole. These essays have been shown in solo exhibitions in New York, London, Paris, Cape Town and Johannesburg as well as numerous photo festivals around the world. (Including China, Singapore, Brazil, Cambodia, France, and the USA). I have been privileged to have been included in major international exhibitions showcasing contemporary South African photography; including Figures and Fictions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Earth Matters at the Smithsonian in New York, The Rise and Fall of Apartheid at the ICP in New York and Being There, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Awards include the CAP Prize for Contemporary African Photography (Basel) in 2013, and the Ernest Cole Award (South Africa) in the same year. I have continued working on commissioned assignments and traveling to over fifty countries. My photographs have appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice, and have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Newsweek, Stern, and many others. Whilst working on my long-term projects, I try to bear in mind how the work will be exhibited and published. So therefore, during the planning and photographing stages, I attempt to create a broad context for my essays, that includes a general look and feel, while creating the space for each image to convey its individual complexity. This need to develop a dual awareness in my personal work has benefitted from a long-term interest in designing and producing photobooks. I have created over 20 publications, some of them winning awards and many being shortlisted in dummy book competitions. During the past five years I have felt a need to shift my attention from South Africa to the America social, political and physical landscape. Some of my motivations for this change in direction have been outlined within the 'Plan' document. In 2016 I was granted a residency in the US by the Ampersand Foundation, giving me an opportunity to develop a body of work that interrogated the social strata within the greater community of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I designed and produced a book called, Diverging Dreamlines that included, portraits, urban landscapes as well as multi-image, digital, illustrations. The publication was chosen as "best of show" in the Annual Photobook Exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, Massachusetts. The work was also included in the Unmasked exhibition at Axis Gallery, New York in 2017. Earlier this year (2019) I co-presented a paper, Over Time, at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) Congress held in London. Four of my personal essays were incorporated into the presentation, allowing a psychoanalytical exploration into the parallels between this photographic record and South Africa's dynamics and process of change. I have participated in various mentorship programs, supporting students from South African photographic institutions: Tierney Fellowship winners from the University of the Witwatersrand (2018/2019) and the Market Photo Workshop (2015/2016). As well as candidates from the Photographer incubator Program in 2016. Learn more about Graeme Williams on videos: Victoria and Albert Museum Photography and Democracy South African Studios Dwell in Possibility opening Check out Graeme Williams's interview about his latest project America Revisited Discover Graeme Williams' Interview
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