Artist Talk: Xem – A Photographic Experiment

July 19, 2024

6:00 am

Xem – a photographic art experiment

Saturday, April 28 from 4pm (following Hoang Duong Cam’s artist talk)

Language: Vietnamese and English


XEM, an open visual experiment

Foundation in the beginning of 2013


XEM is first of all a group of friends each one working professionally in the creative field (photography, painting, multimedia) but all passionate about photography as an artistic medium.


The desire to show a certain type of photographs and the inability to diffuse them on existing media which accept only the commercial or picturesque photography push us to create a quarterly book with limited circulation and self-funded. The title of the journal – XEM – means in Vietnamese – To see, to observe -.


Creative process

At the time of digital media, our desire is to leave a tangible trace of our view of the world we live in.  The book is a simple object with a high symbolic value. It can pass from hand to hand surviving through time in a library unlike a show for example. As it is a recurrent publication, ideas can be developed deeply in a long term perspective.


Our process of working together is structurally horizontal without central theme or style imposed. Complete freedom is given to the artist for his content.


Collaboration is done on the level of discussions about the way to develop an idea, a concept. The member is not left alone in his work and feeling part of a team gives him more strength for its creation.


We define XEM as a trace for a visual experience without any external editorial, artistic constraints.


Open Collaboration concept

After a year of existence, the XEM project evolves in an open direction, welcoming more other artists.
Here are the basic rules


  • Photography based.
  • No / Few explanatory words as XEM is a visual experiment.
  • Self-edition. Each participant will participate financially to the cost of book’s printing.
  • Limited edition. Each issue is printed in 20 books, signed. Each participant will have 2 books and the 10 others are sold to the public.


As a development strategy, XEM follows the Open Collaboration method, where the contributions of each person count with a flexible governance.


Wikipedia’s definition of Open Collaboration

Open Collaboration is a pattern of collaboration, innovation, and production. Open Collaboration is “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants, who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike



The XEM issue structure:


  • The printed book has the following sections
    • A space for individual work
    • A common theme to stimulate personal work, the notion of collaboration is highlighted as photos of each artist are mixed together
    • A historical overview of past issues


  • Opening event

Usually an opening event is organized to present the book to the public.
At that event other material related to the printed photos can be also displayed such as video, art installation, …


More than a publication, XEM try to embrace visual arts based on artbook.

From the beginning, 7 books have been printed


XEM in the art scene of Vietnam

First non-commercial photographic book in Vietnam, XEM fills an empty space in the art scene between commercial galleries (focusing on the artistic market value) and art centers (focus on concepts and curating) with a regular publication.


XEM provides a breath for the libertarian vision of the artist.




Some words about the founders  (to be updated)

Nguyen Thanh Truc, Artist Painter

Born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1969. Working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Graduated from the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts University in 1993.


  • Last events

2011  – Vis-à-vis, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2011  – Composition | Construct, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2011  – Vietnam Voices, Tobin Ohashi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Phan Quang, Artist photographer

Born in Binh dinh, 1976. Working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Economics, graduating from University of Economics HCMC in 1999


UuDam Nguyen, artist sculptor,

Born in Kontum, 1971. Working in VietNam and USA.
2005, Master of Fine Art, School of Visual Arts, New York, New York

  • Last events
    2012 – Poetic Politic, KADIST ART FOUNDATION, San Francisco, USA
    2012 – Fuck and Love Buttons, Bleicher Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
  • Useful(s) link(s):


Quang Lam, photographer

Born in Saigon, 1968. Working in Vietnam and France
1991 – Master in computer sciences at Pierre et Marie-Curie University (Paris, France)


  • Last events
    2006 – Asia Interferences, in Hanoi Studio Gallery , Ho Chi Minh City, VietNam
    2003/2005  – LAGAI art gallery director in Hoi An, VietNam
  • Useful(s) link(s):


Hoang Duong Cam, visual artist

Born in Hanoi, 1974. Working in Saigon, Vietnam
Graduated from the Hanoi Fine Arts University in 1996.

  • Last events

2012 – Tales of Chewing Gum, Noodle Soup, and Other Stories, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

2012 – Picture This, Tolla Duke Contemporary, Singapore

2011 – Ideal Fall, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • July 19, 2024
  • 6:00 am