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.


2 Responses

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  1. Thomas Ball said, on August 28, 2007 at 4:24 am

    disgraceful carry on at the carnival!!

    Loves the pics. Will chat to you when I get back re major project. back on sunday.

  2. grace said, on September 3, 2007 at 10:36 am

    i love your pics!

    nyc youth are the same way…. especially in the bronx! loved your 2nd idea…. =)

    anyways, im back in the states. i miss traveling. =)

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