Michael Nguyen's series “Urban in Black & White“ (Urban Elements - Urban Spaces - Urban Landscapes), which is the focus of his artistic work from 2019 - 2020, shows buildings, cityscapes, subway stations, sculptures and, occasionally, people in whom we recognize ourselves or relatives and friends.
Architecture is part of a cultural landscape created by man. This results in a very wide range of objects, including also lost places, individual architectural objects, architectural details, interior views, or even graffiti. Diverse associations lead the viewer on a journey into the inner life of our soul where we recognize the walls and frames of our being.
A photo poetic expedition through contemporary urban planning and urban design. Urban spaces in general, whether for living, working, leisure, public spaces, urban infrastructure or other spaces. Nguyen also shows “Small Urbanism” like doors, windows and balconies as an element of architecture, a platform between the public and private realm.
For Michael Nguyen, his architectural photography has an exclusively artistic function. The artistic component in architectural photography deliberately interprets a building differently from reality. For this purpose Michael Nguyen uses the tools of digital image processing.
Michael Nguyen often works with strong contrasts, hard structures, a coarse grain, in some motifs a light haze. Both lead the viewer into a generally rather dark world. Michael Nguyen was confronted with great suffering and death in his past. This certainly had an impact on his photographic work. Many of his photos, as one can see, are melancholic and sometimes a little bit dark.
In many of Michael Nguyen's photographs, one can also discover in many of his photographs the versatile forms of different objects or their outer limits, their outlines or their outer surface. Fascinated by points, lines, patterns, shadows or even silhouettes surrounding architecture.
The pictures of this series were taken in Basel, Berlin, Colmar, Copenhagen, Freising, Gauting, Munich, Starnberg, Stuttgart, Vienna ...
The series was awarded with Honorable Mention at the TIFA Tokyo International Photo Awards 2020 in the category: Editorial / Photo Essay