Simone Sapienza

Charlie surfs on Lotus Flowers

Gomma Grant Best Rising Talent

Charlie surfs on Lotus Flowers by Simone Sapienza

Gomma Grant 2017 Best Rising Talent.

Fascinated by the contradictions of post-war Vietnam, a country somewhat in limbo between free-market capitalism and the strict rules of the Communist party, I embarked on a journey to reflect about "the society of spectacle" in Vietnam. In fact, populated by a young and energetic new generation, Vietnam is likely to become one of the world's fastest-growing economies. However, behind this illusive economic freedom, the Communist government still holds absolute political power.

The allusive and ambiguous series is a sequence of metaphorical responses to notions of power, economy, energy, exoticism and politics that characterise the current Vietnamese society.

My practice as documentary photographer is mainly based on deep research about the social, economical and historical context of the project.
My latest projects are mainly infuenced by the concept of simulacrum by Jean Baudrillard and its role within documentary photography.

I do not look for descriptive and narrative pictures; I am interested instead in multi-semantic, metaphorical, ambiguous, images that represent the project without describing it. I am interested to understand how the borders of documentary photography can be faded.

I am also interested in the role of history and how it changes over time, in the infuence of mass-media and in the value of capitalism.

My practice aims to go beyond the specifc theme of the project, trying to enable the viewer to connect my visual process with similar themes in diferent contexts. That is about my idea about 'simulacrum' in documentary photography: "Charlie surfs on Lotus Flowers" is not only about Vietnam itself, but capitalism and power. "
S. Sapienza

Charlie surfs on Lotus Flowers. Vietnam.
Simone Sapienza.

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