Minh Ngọc Nguyễn is a Danish-Vietnamese photographer born and based in Copenhagen. Having developed a love for the medium in his childhood, due to its ability to capture and hold his attention — “I have a notoriously bad attention span”, he explains — he has since built a practice centred around his dual heritage, exploring “Western portrayals of South-East Asian culture”. Growing up in Denmark, these skewed perspectives imbued Minh with “internalised racism” and he says he has spent the years since attempting to “process and reverse” this affliction.
Specifically, his work takes the form of still life photography, with Minh composing his shots using objects and food to challenge the stereotypes around South-East Asian culture. “Through deconstructing and reconstituting specific objects and iconography, I question their appropriation and reclaim them from the fetishisation to which they have become prone,” he says. Minh’s layered, textural compositions are undoubtedly his trademark style, and it is in this context, he explains, that he feels most free to carry out his investigations. “The utilisation of conventional studio lighting and still-life setups create an almost ethereal space in which I can intentionally derive and strip objects from their original contexts, and ascribe new values and associations to them — a fun and level playing field with illogical criteria.”
Copyright © Minh Ngọc Nguyễn, 2023
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.