Fleeting Encounters by Vietnam's Chu Viet Ha


Hanoi-based street photographer and architect Chu Viet Ha's work is deeply personal. It showcases his incredible patience and keen photographic eye.

Chu Viet Ha's body of work is mostly about capturing daily life and exploring extraordinary everyday moments. Chu Viet Ha explains: “I idolize the “Decisive Moment.” I am crazy and strongly attracted by interesting moments of daily life. I always observe to figure out and capture moments by my eyes and camera. Sometimes I play with lights or flash and each style gives me different inspiration and attraction.”

© Chu Viet Ha, Courtesy of IPA

Street photography opens up more opportunities to take diverse slice-of-life photos, and it is clear that Chu Viet Ha's specialities are street and documentary photography. He notes that his approach to street photography starts by trying “to get as close to the subject as possible because I want to become a factor in the life story. And up to the place and condition during the moment, I have other ways to approach the subject. As for locations that I can visit often, I don’t shoot at the first time. I try making a friend and chatting with people there and then when I’m more familiar with them, it will be easier to connect and capture their life. As for photo walks, I move slowly, pay attention and observe, hold the camera in my hand and quickly shoot, and keep moving.”

He expounds on his Fleeting Encounters series by explaining that “even after following street life photography for a long time, I didn’t have an idea of doing a street photography series. Just shoot by my instincts. Luckily, there is a senior I know who is a master in photography and teaching documentary and photography series. I met him at a coffee house and he helped me understand the importance and power of a photo series, and then the idea of my own photography project was born. I chose a “black and white” project and followed my passion, which is the “Decisive Moment,” capturing scenes and emotions of life where I live. This is the Fleeting Encounter project, which will be supplemented from now to the end of my life.”

© Chu Viet Ha, Courtesy of IPA

He has high regards for his current city, Hanoi: “[I] usually go shooting around Hoan Kiem Lake, then walk to Dong Xuan market. I love Hoan Kiem Lake because there are beautiful views to boost my mood and especially many exciting activities over there. For example, outdoor exercising in the morning and late evening, or student activity. On the contrary, Dong Xuan market is more crowded and busy with work. Over there, shapes of light and shadow created by a canvas roof or particular architecture is the great inspiration of street life photography.”

Chu Viet Ha hopes that “viewers can see and feel like they are a factor in the scene of life that I capture.”

© Chu Viet Ha, Courtesy of IPA

Check out Chu Viet Ha's full interview here, and see more of his work here.

written by crissyrobles on 2018-10-24

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