Behind the Lens: Minh T
Photographer & Graphic designer
For photographer and graphic designer Minh T, simplicity is an exercise in focus. It is an act of "letting go of what is extraneous and superfluous" in one's life in order to discover a greater appreciation for "that which is within our immediate grasp" -- the clarity of the essential, the present moment in its fullness, in "singular moments of grace". Such a philosophy is clearly exhibited in his body of work. Under the moniker @thismintymoment, Minh crafts cinematic tableaux with a sharp architectural gaze, eschewing complex visual narratives in order to capture the intricacies of the world around him. "I tend to play with scale and relatability in my images but the underlying theme is more an exploration in unrestricted beauty," he says. "Whether in nature’s flawless foliage or the mesmerising engineering of a freeway overpass—you just have to see it."
In Behind the Lens, we host candid conversations with image-makers near and far about their history, craft and purpose.
Occupation: Photographer, graphic designer
Visual style: Minimal, architectural, cinematic, mysterious
What inspires you: Timelessness. Simplicity. Nature. Architecture. Escapism. Austerity. Tranquility. Solitude. Perspective.
“An image can capture a moment in time but still has the movement of what precedes and what follows. This stop in the narrative has always fascinated me—that momentary reprieve.”
Introduction Chynna Lao
Images Minh T
How would you describe what you do?
I create immersive visual experiences that can take final form as a photograph, a website, or a physical space. In my daily life, my career spans graphic design, interior design and photography.
What drew you to photography?
An image can capture a moment in time but still has the movement of what precedes and what follows. This stop in the narrative has always fascinated me—that momentary reprieve. My formal training in architecture and graphic design also encouraged my interest in photography and has helped to shape my point of view.
What is your favourite place to photograph?
My favourite place is an undiscovered place. I’m inspired when I uncover hidden beauty in a destination forgotten, neglected, or seemingly mundane. I prefer that beauty reveal itself and am drawn to quiet, empty locales where I can spend quality time observing without feeling rushed or intruded upon.
Is there a feeling or moment you look to capture or create?
I never seek out a particular moment or feeling but I guess you could say I put myself in the right environment for that moment to find me. I tend to play with scale and relatability in my images but the underlying theme is more an exploration in unrestricted beauty. Whether in nature’s flawless foliage or the mesmerising engineering of a freeway overpass—you just have to see it.
It’s necessary to create places for our mind to wander and go to. We are a creature that is sustained not only by food but by a thirst for something more. What is the purpose of it?
We all share in a progressive universe—the instinct to move things forward seems fundamental to being alive. If we get to work in a field that we are passionate about and can share that passion, it brings great meaning and purpose to our lives, and hopefully to the lives of others as well. Also, we get better at our craft and can contribute more and more.
Why is less more?
I think we can appreciate that which is within our immediate grasp more deeply—maybe because we are not spread so thin. Personally, I’ve been going through a purging process—keeping what is meaningful and letting go of what is not. For me, it brings more clarity and appreciation of the present moment.
What does it mean to embrace simplicity?
“Embrace simplicity” means to focus on what is essential and important in my life; letting go of what is extraneous and superfluous; appreciating the simple pleasures and singular moments of grace.
How is the digital age changing photography?
Social media has cultivated a sophisticated viewer with a short attention span, who is inundated by beautiful, well-composed images. The immersive experience or “story” has become much more highly valued. More than ever, as a photographer, we are forced to rely on our own originality, which is a good thing. We’re also tasked with evolving quickly in order to maintain audience attention and stay relevant. It can be a challenge to balance this with maintaining a brand image but I think the idea of brand is becoming more fluid and less of a solid thing in the new media world.