Photography exhibition features values and connection in times of COVID-19

June 23, 2021 | 17:58
A photography exhibition of conversations about values in times of COVID-19 between young European and Vietnamese photographers is slated to run from June 25 to July 7 at Matca Space for Photography in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh district.
Photography exhibition features values and connection in times of COVID-19
The Things That Count photography exhibition sends signs of hope by creating an international network of upcoming artists

The exhibition, named Things That Count, is held with support from the Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp, Belgium), and Matca Space for Photography.

Things That Count is an online collaboration between young photographers from Europe and Vietnam. During 10 weeks in March and May 2021, students from the Photography department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium communicated online in text and images with young Vietnamese photographers about important current topics in modern society. The 10 values chosen include family, safety, gender, heritage, humour, intimacy, freedom, power, knowledge, and faith.

In times of COVID-19, existential questions are posed to young people who are now facing an uncertain future.

In times of COVID-19, existential questions are posed to young people who are now facing an uncertain future. Each week, the participants dealt with an assigned "value", which they first discussed in pairs, then provided each other with inspiration, and finally expressed their personal opinion of the value in question in one single photograph.

The resulting images and fragments of the written communication between the participants were published online, where perspectives were shared and friendships developed. A part of their works is now exhibited at Matca Space for Photography with the support of the Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam.

Bert Danckaert, associate professor of photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts who spearheaded the project, shares his thoughts after three intensive months: “What struck me most was the immediate openness and trust that the participants had in each other. The project seemed to generate an injection of hope facing another continent, a virtual bridge between two cultures. Looking back, I think the most important and eleventh value is that of trust.”

At a time when social contact is severely limited, Things That Count sends a hopeful signal by creating an international network among upcoming artists and sober reflections on what is considered valuable today.

By Anh Duc

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