In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Mai Phuong Duong, as her photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 24th Month, 1st Place. Let’s discover more about Mai Phuong, and her forays into photography in the following interview with her.
Mai Phuong Duong: It came as a surprised and it is such an honour. I’m happy and really grateful to receive the appreciation and support for my work.
Mai Phuong: To be honest, I don’t really remember particularly when this photograph was taken. It must have been in my many trips to gardens and parks in Singapore looking for beautiful tiny little things. I don’t usually think or plan much. I just press the shutter when it feels right.
Mai Phuong: Well, I’m happy that many people like my photographs. Each “like” is an encouragement to improve myself. I’d like to thank everyone for that. I think my journey to the world of photography has only just begun. It has brought me wonderful experiences and much joy. Still, there are a lot more to learn, to explore and to create. I’m looking forward to what is awaiting ahead.
Mai Phuong: I’m originally from Vietnam but I have been staying in Singapore for almost 10 years now. Born in Vietnam and had lived in many places in the country, I’ve learnt to appreciate the natural beauty of the landscape of each place that I’ve been to. In Singapore, on the other hand, I’m inspired by the rich diverse cultural in confined urban landscapes such as China Town, Little India or Kampong Glam. Each place has its own uniqueness in the architecture, the people, and the activities, which create a different atmosphere.
L&C: We see so many different genres of photography in your portfolio. Do you like a particular genre of photography?
Mai Phuong: I’m excited by many things and I think I’m not settled to a particular genre yet. I think people changes as life goes a long, and so does their work. But essentially, it is led by your feelings and how you would like to express them.
Mai Phuong: It usually starts with something that inspires me and then how I can translate it into photographs. The most important thing is to go out and execute it. Let us take my Christmas project in 2010 as an example. My husband and I are always crazy about Christmas. And in this tropical country, there is nothing more Christmas-y than the beautiful decoration that is put up in Singapore streets and shopping centres every Christmas. So, we set out to take photographs in some of the busiest places in Singapore. The project went on for several weeks and the result was satisfying. One point about what to do afterward is that I try to be very difficult with the selection process to choose the best photos, even only a few.
L&C: Mai Phuong, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.
Mai Phuong: No, I haven’t received that honour but I’ll be thrilled to have one.
Mai Phuong: No. I mostly join some online groups, such as Light and Composition, which is a wonderful place to see other photographers’ great work and get inspired.
Mai Phuong: Well it is my first time winning so I’m not sure if I’m qualified to give anyone advice. But if there is any, that would be to continue to shoot what you like and actively reach out to interact with other photographers.
L&C: Thank you, Mai Phuong, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.
Mai Phuong: The pleasure is all mine. Thank you for the honour and the questions. They got me to reflect on my journey in photography..