Feeling the heat…

Posted in graduate school by Kevin Vu on August 27, 2007



London Streetscapes.
© Kevin T. Vu

I went to the carnival in Notting Hill today. There was a vast amount of people there. They shouldn’t call it a carnival though. I would say its more of a ‘gathering where you get belligerent and throw your trash everywhere!’ It was horrible! The parade was lacklustre and ill-organized. Instead of having parade floats, what you had were these ugly semi-trucks pulling their rigs w/ speakers. They would go slowly and drunk people would just follow and dance. I saw only one rig where people were actually in costumes and playing live music. And mountains of trash everywhere! I mean, come on people, haven’t you heard of a trash can!? I think people here are so used to paid government street sweepers cleaning up after them that they just throw their trash onto the street instead of finding a trash can. Thomas, if you wanted to do pictures of the eroding environment, you should have been at Notting Hill today! I saw people sitting next to mounds of trash while eating their food! How do you do that? I couldn’t. I like to enjoy my food in a nice environment. It was just an excuse for people to make money(the vendors) and to get wasted(the general public) this bank holiday. And on the bus on my way home, a girl puked! How nice is that? London is so charming and the Brits are so civilized! (not to say that this type of stuff doesnt happen in the states, cause it does, I just get tired of it.) On the bright side, weather in London has been marvelous the past 2 days. Woohoo to that! (in all fairness, the carnival did start at 12pm and i didnt get there til 5, so i guess i was a bit late)

Well, on to a discussion about my major project(s). I’ve decided to do two projects and see what comes of them. Then decide which one will be the contender for major project.

The first, which is my work w/ the suburban youths, has not started. I have been in contact with them and we have made appointments to meet. I went there once to meet them, after getting a call from them, but found no one in the area or residence. So that was a bit frustrating. They called another time, but I was busy in bed moaning in agony due to food poisoning. So i’ll give them a call this week so i can start the actual hanging out and taking portraits of them. it will be mostly a portrait project. i’ve been a bit apathetic to this story because i feel that i wouldn’t necessarily grow as a photographer with project. It’s mostly a waiting and sitting game to get the right soft portrait. Another reason for my discontent w/ this project stemmed from me mainly riding the bus(which sounds like a strange place to get disenchanted, but you have to ride it often to know). To get to the point, its because they(youths in general) can be quite annoying on the bus! I swear, everytime I’m on the bus, there’s music playing aloud from some youth’s cell phone. And its not like its music, being played that loud on such a tiny speaker, its more like random static. But that’s not the main thing. Its that they can be pushy and rude. I’ve seen a couple of fights on a bus. ie. one guy got punched in the head and his hat stolen. And its not like you can say anything because you just don’t know who has a knife in their pocket. Yeah, so those are some of the reasons why i’m tired of this project. Lack of growth in the profession and because they can be annoying. Haha.

On the other hand, my second idea was a straight street project production. In general, it’s my view of London. But not as easy or general as that. Have you seen the movie Crash? Great movie. The idea behind it was that we are surrounded by so many people, but at the same time so unattached to everyone around us, that we ‘CRASHED’ into each other to have a sense of connectedness. My idea is similar, but different. It’s the idea that Londoners are so surveillanced, that, subconsciously, they live and hide in the shadows. They don’t like to show their faces and they stick to their set routines ie. work, then pub, then home, then work again. Its like a futuristic/apocalyptic/military state/industrial society where anonymity is what everyone strives for. Its a fictional story, but its the story that i see when i go out into London. I’m trying to make it a very dark story. High contrast, no distinguishable features. Heads are tilted down giving a sense of fatigue and weariness. Or tilted up in militaristic style. Some of my recent postings on this blog are an example of the work that i’m doing for this project. I’m shooting it in 35 mm digital and film. I usually shoot in sunny conditions to get the stark contrasts, but its hard in this environment.

I have had a lot of friends from the course as well as Paul, the director, giving me insightful advice. Thank you all! If anyone else, has comments, ideas, advice, critique, etc. about my major project, I would love to hear it.


Some color…

Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on August 26, 2007

Iron door. Marylebone, London.
© Kevin T. Vu

Woke up early today to go meet Tina in Oxford Circus. She needed help editing some sound so i showed her how to work w/ GarageBand on the macbook pro. Then went walking around all of London to do street photography and explore some of the ideas that i have for another “major” project. I was actually walking towards Notting Hill for the festival, but they are just setting it up today apparently. I guess the party starts tomorrow. I didnt get home til 9 and i was exhausted. i also haven’t been feeling very well, i think i had a stint of food poisoning and my stomach hasn’t felt the same since. still trying to work on the major project, God help me!

BBQ in the Rain

Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on August 19, 2007

Birds flying over the statue of Lord Nelson. Trafalgar Square, London.
© Kevin T. Vu

Went down to Tulse Hill today, which is a good ways down from me, and had a lovely BBQ in the rain at Claudia’s place. For once, I didnt care that it was raining. That’s because I was entrenched by the aroma of a BBQ. It was amazing!! It’s definitely been a little while since I had one. Leigh and Claudia were very kind and were great hosts. I mean, if u can feed me, then you’re an amazing host. I don’t usually get filled up very easily, but they were throwing everything at me…salad, sausage, kebab, chicken, fruits, tiramisu….and on and on. It was a trek to get down there, but well worth it I have to say!

PS- check out this video


Posted in graduate school, personal by Kevin Vu on August 12, 2007




London streetscapes.
© Kevin T. Vu

I haven’t started my major project yet. and i was very ampathetic to the idea for a while. but now, i’m starting to get the panic-attack feeling. tia was here for 2 weeks and we went to paris for a couple of days. then, she left and i was looking for a new flat w/ mario. so now we have found a 3 bedroom flat. mario, my californian friend jessica, and me. and then i was looking for a part-time job. things keep coming up and i push my final project back. and then, i get these moments where i stress out about what is gonna happen to me come january. i have no idea where i’m going or how i’m going to support myself. i stress about it at night, end up sleeping at 5 and waking up at 3 in the afternoon. and the cycle keeps going. i read articles on photography and see how young and talented so and so is, and then, i look at myself and wonder. where, what, when, and how? those are the constant questions that keeps coming to me. for me, this year/course seems over. people say our major project is the “launching pad” to the industry. realistically though, how many of us will actually sell or make some kind of commission from our final work?

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Posted in personal by Kevin Vu on August 9, 2007



Paris streetscapes.
© Kevin T. Vu

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