Hao Nguyen: Blink And You Will Miss It

Artist Hao Nguyen

Words Tom Czibolya

“’Pick me. Choose me. Love me.’ I was watching a TikTok video of a girl out in the rain, hilariously shouting while twerking on the ground after quoting from the show, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. I felt seen ever since” – there is something about Toronto-based photographer Hao Nguyen’s pictures and his approach toward visibility that trigger the imagination. With close-up intimacy, tenderness, and a sense of lighthearted playfulness, Hao’s photography is oriented around the colorful people he has encountered and bonded with.

“To me, love is an integral part of storytelling. Love is being able to open up to emotional connections with a range of experiences from fulfillment to pain.”

Sometimes influenced by his own Chinese-Vietnamese roots, Hao’s work is greatly oriented around his fight for visibility and helping others express their identities the way they want to. He brings a sense of unity into diversity and this is probably why his advice to anyone struggling with living out their true self is so simple: “Start small. Move at your own pace. Reflect on your progress, on yourself.”

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