Photographer Tran Hoang Dung has launched a photo collection entitled Human Distancing. The photos reflect the reality of modern life that makes viewers ponder the impact of smartphones.
|Photographer Tran Hoang Dung.|
Dung is creative director at ELLE Vietnam and is a graphic designer. He has published four fashion artbooks entitled Dzung Yoko Artbook and has two solo exhibitions.
HCM Woman's Newspaper reporter Hoang Linh Lan spoke with Dung about his new photos.
Where did you get the idea for Human Distancing?
In today's society, I realised that people are becoming increasingly distant and dependent on virtual life. People cry and laugh with what’s happening on the internet, but they are indifferent to real life.
|A photo from collection Human Distancing.|
Instead of talking directly to each other, people talk with smartphones and use these devices in their every activity. They also believe and like to update everything on social networks.
I see that families and friends sometimes go out to eat together but most of them watch smartphones, take photos of food and post on Facebook. It is the same with lovers.
Traveling or seeing exhibitions is more of an opportunity to live virtually than to enjoy tourism spots or artworks enhancing the knowledge and gaining experience.
The outbreak of COVID-19 limits face-to-face interactions and going out. I feel regretful because we don't pay strong attention to or care much about each other and give kindness.
Now, it is difficult to meet close friends for a hug or simply picking up food for each other. That is why I made the photo collection.
I don't want the photos to warn people about smartphone addiction, but hopefully they will help viewers to recognise what is important in their life. They should respect and cherish their life.
How has technology affected your work?
The invention and popularity of smartphones has dramatically changed the way people communicate and gain information. For example, at your home you can watch a live concert or an exhibition in another country and you can know what is happening in remote and isolated places.
People can chat with family and friends who are halfway across the world. Even for many people, social networks also help them find their long-lost loved ones.
Social networks and technology allow people to access easily to vast amounts of new information. Talented young people have more opportunities to show their talent.
However, if social networks and technology are not in control, people will be lonelier, angrier or have negative thoughts. Online security violation cases such as posting private information online and fake news have negative effects of social networks.
For people working in creative fields, social networks sometimes destroy their art when it is livestreamed on Facebook.
It is all due to the way humans use them. We can't control social networks, but we can control the way they collect and spread information.
People are depending on online activities because of COVID-19 and gradually they recognise it is ok. Do you agree?
In fact, we have entered the digital era and cannot turn back. That is the inevitable journey and undeniable. The move from real life to online is the general trend. The fashion industry is also actively shifting.
In another way, I believe that the pandemic is the message of the earth when it has been devastated by humans. Does each person need two smartphones or to buy a new one every six months? Is it really necessary to have too many fashion brands, own three cars and two houses?
I also believe that people can be familiar with online working. But I think, love and care are never enough. Social networks and technology cannot replace people in contact.
|A photo from collection Human Distancing. — Photos facebook Dzung Yoko|
You have taken some photos on the same theme before. What is different between the old and the new ones?
I'm working in the fashion industry so I use fashion factors to express the idea. Everything must be beautiful and have style. In the new photos, models wear classic blue to suit the room colour. This is the trendy colour of this year. Of course, it includes the phone.
The relationship between humans and technology will be a part of my next artbook. I want to express inner emotions through fashion. It is happiness, loneliness, stress and joy. Making an artbook helps me to find myself and the world around me. — VNS
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