Vietnam has one of the world's fastest growing economies. 60% of the population 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. Private moments are shared in public spaces; crowded coffee shops, bridges and parks. Acess to the internet and satellite t.v. give the youth a taste of life from outside these borders. For a small minority, this underground metal scene provides a means of escape. The sheer force and velocity of this music creates the backdrop where these Vietnamese individuals join to express themselves.
I relocated to Saigon 4 years ago, I wanted to document contemporary Vietnam. I went to a rock/metal gig, where I witnessed an arena full of Vietnamese teenagers going crazy to this music. As a teenager I’d been into punk bands like The Dead Kennedy's, The Damned and Fugazi. The passion and energy of these teenagers resonated with me, youth sub-cultures have been a subject i have been documenting since then. I wanted to find out more about this form of expression, which had found a voice under a one party state.
Over the last two years, a breakaway group of bands and dedicated fans were getting into the more extreme forms of metal music - Death, Brutal, Raw Black and Grindcore. These gigs would take place in 80's style mirrored discothèques, run down shopping malls at the city limits and in people's living rooms - sometimes shut down at the last minute by the police. These impromptu DIY gatherings form the basis of my photographic project.