An exploration and observation made to look at how people would behave when put in an intimate space unbeknownst to them, having to interact with someone they also just met, tête-à-tête.

The subjects of my work are ordinary people who I scouted from everyday travels, strangers who I have only known for a short while. People who you can look at and relate to, showing up and presenting themselves as they are. They are put in a space that’s familiar, a home that isn’t necessarily their own or was even a real home, but is familiar to them. There’s only honesty showing, no fictitious acting.

It begins with a conversation. We take time to exchange back and forth, though some had no inhibition about sharing their own stories and what they have gone through. It’s interesting how you can see the wall they put up, even if they clearly try to hide as the picture was being taken. A mental sense of security they created in order to protect them from an alien environment.

Observing the chemistry between the couple in one image, they look naturally at ease together despite being unacquainted. Or in another, how obvious it was when they weren’t comfortable; it’s the body language that gives it away. Honesty will always peak through no matter how careful the staging is.


Vân-Nhi Nguyễn (b. 1999) is a photographer and designer currently based in Hà Nội, Việt Nam, involved in the fields of art, culture and fashion. Nhi has a deep interest in exploring cultural identities, humanity and the relationship between person and society.

To see more work by Van-Nhi Nguyen, visit - Website / Instagram