Bloody Chunks | The Vietnamese Underground Metal Scene
* WINNER * of New York City PDN (Photo District News) 2014 Music Moments Awards
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Sixty percent of the population in Vietnam today is under 30, most living with their parents until marriage. Pressure to conform comes from all sides; the Communist Government, state run media and the family unit itself. For the young, private moments are shared in public spaces; crowded coffee shops, bridges and parks. Access to the internet and satellite T.V. has given the young a taste of life from outside these borders. For a small minority, the underground metal scene provides a welcomed means of escape.
Trung, of grindcore band ‘Wuu’ and founder of Vietnam’s first and only metal label, Bloody Chunks Records, explains; “Vietnamese people are still afraid of this kind of music. Black, death, brutal, grind core is still something that can’t be understood by them. Just a small community with 100 to 200 people in Saigon know it well and enjoy the gigs. In ‘99 I came across the band Cannibal Corpse and was really attracted by them. Everything was so gory and violent at the time. When I saw them on a live DVD around 2001 I said, “Wow, this is fucking cool, I wanna be like them in the future.”
“This series of photographs documents the underground metal scene in Saigon. I was into punk bands like The Dead Kennedy’s, Peter and the Test Tube Babies & Fugazi when i was a teenager, the energy of this scene resonated with my early experiences at punk gigs. In keeping with the DIY spirit of these impromptu random gatherings it felt right to shoot it with B+W film. I hadn’t used B+W film for 12 years. It was really hard to find B+W processing chemicals in Vietnam, finally in the back room of a downtown photoshop in Saigon i found a kilo of powdered developer and some crystal fixer. I used some clear vinegar as stopbath and some old german medium format film. Now i had my home processing kit. The “Underground Metal Scene” seemed like the perfect marriage, to me it captured the raw, brutal energy of this music and the small hardcore group of people who love it”