Vietnamese-American artist An Le was awarded 1st prize at a US-based fashion photography contest for his submission entitled, Ong lao va bien ca (The sea).
The New Exposure Photography Contest was co-organized by Vogue, Red Camera and the Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta and was open to US residents only with the winner set to receive a prize package valued at US$50,000. The award ceremony was held in New York City on July 11.
Beating out over 500 candidates from around the US, Le's 1st place price included $10,000 cash, a one-year mentorship with the photo agency Management Artists, the opportunity to shoot an exclusive project for Bottega Veneta and a RED Epic-X camera worth $40,000.
Ong lao va bien ca features disturbances within the family of an old man living by the seashore. One day, the old man retrieves a giant egg from the sea, from which a young woman hatches. The presence of the beauty causes trouble as his wife becomes jealous and sad as she is forced to face her old age. Eventually, the old man returns the younger women to the sea.
"I'd like to place things together and prefer the contrast method. For me, no matter what the subject is, landscape, woman or man, an artwork with disturbing, chaotic elements will attract people," said Le, who currently works for the famous Vietnamese magazine Dep (Beauty).
Le, 22, who left Ho Chi Minh City for the US at the age of 15 to pursue his dream as an artist, graduated from Georgia-based Savannah College of Art and Design early this year.
He created Ong lao va bien ca with the help from Dep's crew. The collection will be published exclusively in its August issue.
The stated aim of the New Exposure Photography Contest is to pinpoint emerging talent within the field of fashion photography and help those individuals succeed.