A photo exhibition titled ‘The time has come to rekindle the stars’ by Punk Dragon is on display till May 29 at Matca Photography Space, No 48 Ngoc Ha street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi.

The ‘Story-box’ is telling about a story of modern day in Vietnam. Photo: Punk Dragon

The exhibition showcases the point of views of foreign photographers about modern society of Vietnam through photos in boxes.

Far from the usual Asia iconography, the creative duo Punk Dragon infuses this energy in its creative process. Each of their artworks tells a story through cut-outs and superposed pictures. Combining photography, design, and local craft, this exhibition opens the door to the magic in everyday surroundings.

“Using photos that have been captured during the past 28 years, we wish to share our vision of Asian lifestyle in a transition time where traditional arts and crafts meet industrial style,” said the photographers.

‘Memory-box’ collection is an old drawer full of cut-out pictures representing the beauty of Vietnam. Photo: Punk Dragon

The photo exhibition is to show an Asian cultural identity out of the usual “exotic” icons and landscapes but still ‘the very image of modern Asia’.

In the exhibition, the stars are chosen as symbols. The stars illuminate the sky, symbolizing the unified Vietnam on the national flag, evoking the joy of Christmas. “The time has come to rekindle the stars” is about hope, dreams, and inspiration. It gives people a chance to take a break for an instant, escape from reality, and reflect on daily life’s enchantment.

Punk Dragon is a collaboration between two friends, Bérengère Despax (Bibi) and Nadège Simard. When the artist duo looked for a non-conformist, yet universal image, the name ‘Punk Dragon’ came naturally. “Both words are strong and highlighting a ‘be yourself’ message in a globalized world where everyone should be proud of their own culture and heritage,” according to the artists.

The iconic dragon and architecture on a photo of ‘Lightbox’ collection. Photo: Punk Dragon

The photos in ‘The time has come to rekindle the stars’ exhibition are displayed in various boxes themed ‘Lightbox’, ‘Story-box’ and ‘Memory-box’. 

There is a particular energy present in East-Asian countries, linked to lifestyle transformation and an ‘everything is possible’ mindset. Punk Dragon loves this mix of ‘modern kitsch’ and traditional icon. In the lightbox collection, the first one is symbolized by the neon effect, and the second one by the iconic dragon and architecture.

Meanwhile, ‘story box’ collection is an invitation to discover the rich cultural heritage of Vietnam. Whichever way one approaches and interacts with it, each ‘story box’ can unveil one’s own personal and emotional story through a specific aspect, such as the object itself or its title.

An old drawer full of cut-out pictures representing the beauty of Vietnam is showcased in the ‘Memory-box’ collection. The photographers love to discover surprises and objects hidden in cupboards and drawers. Sometimes, a forgotten item found in a bottom drawer will unveil memories and emotions.

The space of ‘The time has come to rekindle the stars’ exhibition by Punk Dragon. Photo: Ngoc Tu 

Without being hindered by the usual design rules, Punk Dragon aims to capture the essence and unique style of street life in Vietnam.

Visiting the painting exhibition, viewers are not only impressed by the unique art creations as well as interesting camera angles of the photographers, but they also have the opportunity to ‘catch-up’ with themselves in the past.

“Tear shed from my eyes when I ‘read’ the stories in these vivid photos about Vietnam. Thank you for guiding me toward my past,” a Vietnamese visitor said.

Through the exhibition, Vietnam daily life spaces are kept vibrantly from the south to the north, from the countryside to the cities, and from the past to present.