Houses facing the street (night series) ← Back to the portfolio
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Since 1986, the Vietnamese economy has developed very dynamically, especially since 2006 when Vietnam joined the WTO (World Trade Organization). From the Communist economy of the war and postwar period, through the centralized planned economy, to the “Doi Moi” (renovation) phase of opening, the market economy is now firmly established and is rapidly developing further in globalization.
With the change in the economy and increasing government-allowed privatization, the term “Nha Mat Pho” (roughly: houses right on the street) has emerged. The value of the houses with street frontage goes ever faster, which leads to an explosion in construction of new houses. The tubular, i.e. extremely narrow and tall buildings that dominate the city are multiplying and becoming ever higher. As a result, a new
form of advertising has developed: house-high billboards, which completely cover the facades facing the street. This trend is very popular. Homeowners are trying at any cost to exploit the location of their houses directly on the street to make them a beacon that attracts the attention of passers-by. Competition for the billboards goes on around the clock. In the meantime, the private sphere of each family has become
a public space, without the people realizing it.
My project “Nha Mat Pho” has arisen from the situation described above. During the research and implementation of the project, I developed the new term “photographic relief” by using the new technology of these billboards and the people who make these billboards directly as the material for my artistic works. “Nha Mat Pho” is an open story that is both topical and documentary, as well as utilizing a new artistic technique in which different materials are mixed and various forms of implementation of the works of art are used. In this way the works describe a variety of typical phenomena and life forms of today, which are otherwise difficult to capture. With this project I would like to present a miniature life, a visual game, that stimulates the viewer to decode.