I have always been an acolyte of handmade tools, deliberate restrictions, dogmas and other self imposed limitations that can stimulate the creative process. This might sound contradictory but a self imposed restrictive methodology can produce interesting results that could have never come about any other way. The manifesto of Dogme 95 and the cut-up technique (also called fishbowling for some weird reason) used by Bowie and William Burroughs are two examples of a self imposed set of rules or a tightly defined working process used for creative purposes.
..So all this brings me onto the photography of Nhung Dang. Nhung is a prolific photographer, but I am particularly inspired by her pinhole photography. There is something nostalgic and timeless to her photography, in both subject matter and appearance, almost like looking at an alternative past through the warm fug of memory.
Nhung makes her own cameras and her obvious skill with them has produced some amazing atmospheric imagery. There is something of the outsider (art-brut) in the idea of handmade implements, whether this is my romantic notion of the ideal of ‘craft’ or a celebration of the rejection of technology, who knows, but when I look at Nhung’s photos I want to make cameras out of biscuit tins and take photos of butchers…
I have chosen a couple of images for this post but please check out the following links to see more of Nhung’s work.
Nhung’s ‘The Lost Promenade’ project – “Starting with the pieces around the edges…”