Vân-Nhi Nguyen: 2023 Aperture Portfolio Prize Winner

Vân-Nhi Nguyen

Nguyen’s series As You Grow Older, offering a bold perspective on the lives of young people in contemporary Vietnam, was chosen from more than one thousand submissions, and will be published in the Summer 2023 issue of Aperture magazine. Vân-Nhi Nguyen is a Vietnamese photographer and artist based in Hanoi. Nguyenholds a BA in graphic design from Liverpool John Moores University. Her work has been exhibited at and recognized by several international institutions, including V&A Parasol Foundation Prize, NOOR Images, Objectifs Centre for Photography and Film, PhMuseum Women Photographers Grant, Hong Kong International Photography Festival, and Matca artspace.

As Thessaly La Force writes in Aperture, Nguyen’s series As You Grow Older “is a disorientating experience, one that overwhelms her emotionally.” La Force notes Nguyen’s biggest influence, Deana Lawson, whose portraits of Black American men and women, often at home, are striking in their ability to capture a kind of out-of-time noble or aristocratic manner. “Nguyen has a knack for seeking out the idiosyncrasies of those around her, to find intimacy with her gaze,” says La Force. “Under her lens, the flattening stereotypes of Vietnamese culture are never present, even if she is perfectly aware of them.”