BY DENIS GRAU
The last year was really rough for my sister. She had a nerve-wracking break-up behind her and is stuck in a job without perspective. Since we both love traveling, we decided to escape winter in Germany from Christmas to mid-January and travel through Vietnam, from the hot south to the rainy north.
Usually we both get along very well. Maybe that’s because we both live in different cities and only see each other every two to three weeks. But now three weeks in a row. Day and night. How will that be? Can that work out? We are both very different people with different interests, so I was a bit worried that we would argue in the first few days. Like when we were kids. Good thing we have two things in common: the urge to discover new things and Vietnamese cuisine. And so, after a few small entry problems at the airport of Ho Chi Minh City, our journey began: three weeks, in a different climate, more than 1700 kilometres to Hanoi and various stopovers. All this by plane, bus and train.
I often travel alone and I really love this. To concentrate completely on photography and the location. Having my sister with me at first seemed a bit strange to me. Especially because I’m not used to being watched by someone while taking pictures, being commented and criticised constantly. But after some time and several kilometres of walking, it became normal. You get used to everything. Photography became even a minor matter at some point. We talked, discussed, joked and laughed as we wandered through breathtaking scenery. While sitting on the backseat in a cab, driving through the traffic or hanging out in a cafe. It all took its course. And sometimes I wondered how we suddenly talked about our childhood from the topic of “job perspectives”, for example. How we felt the same to a situation long ago or why we reacted in part so differently. What was missing from my memories, my sister often knew and vice versa. This trip was, so to speak, a completion of our story.
“Please wait a moment, I have to take that picture,” I said and ran a few metres down a side street. My sister followed me. “You always take pictures of such weird things,” she said. “Yes I know. But I can’t tell you why,” I replied.
At some point I stopped looking for explanations as to why I was taking pictures. That was also because I often cannot put it in words myself. I just simply don’t know. Maybe because I do not want to forget that one particular moment—what you feel when you see something for the first time. A certain smell, a feeling, a person or a situation. You forget things; inevitably and no matter how much you fight against it. One thing is for sure: on the next trip with my sister, we will also complete our memory of Vietnam.
“請等一會，我要拍一張照片。” 說著我向小巷子裏跑了幾米，“你總是拍這些奇奇怪怪的東西，” 妹妹跟著我過來，“我知道，但我也說不清為什麽。” 我答道。
Denis Grau was born in 1987 in Kempten, Germany. After finishing a graphic design apprenticeship in 2014, he started working as a designer, art director and copywriter in an advertising agency. His photographic interest began in 2010 after he dropped out of the German army and could afford his first camera. Since then, he started working on personal projects as well as for commercial clients, documenting mostly industrial workers and the industrial environment. You can see his whole body of work on www.denisgrau.com
Denis Grau 於 1987 年出生在德國肯普滕。2014 年完成平面設計見習後，在一家廣告公司擔任設計師、美術指導和撰稿人。2010 年他退出德國軍隊，買了人生第一臺相機，就此開始了對攝影的興趣。從那時起，他一邊拍攝個人項目，一邊為商業客戶工作，拍攝以記錄工人和工業環境為主。您可以在 www.denisgrau.com 看到他的全部作品。