Pham Viêt Si was born on 24 September 1951 in Haifong, Vietnam, and died on 30 August 2005 in Paris. His family was evacuated to France in 1958. He attended the Minor Seminary of Perpignan. He expressed a taste for the origins of the world, nature, stones, stars, trees. At high school in Marseille, he had a remarkable gift for drawing. At the University of Aix, he studied modern literature, with a major in contemporary dance, and was the only male member of a troupe of dancers. A self-taught photographer since 1975, the year he acquired his Leica, he had a constant desire to produce images close to perfection and was very uncompromising with himself.
In 1979, he met Jean-Claude Lemagny, curator of the BNF’s photography collections, who bought and exhibited a series of grasses. This was the beginning of the recognition of his artistic talent. From this period, a few rare photographs of tree trunks and grasses can still be seen in private homes. In 1980, he received a grant from the former Fondation de la photographie. Ten black and white prints are now kept in the collections of the Lyon Municipal Library. In November 1981, four photographs were published in the magazine “Caméra”. He met Allan Porter and the photographer John Batho in 1984, and participated in the group exhibition “Transparences” at the Galerie Viviane Esders. Marie-Claude Beaud, then curator of the Musée Cantini in Marseille, bought two photographs, “L’homme aux chats” and “Femme au bouquet”.
Between 1984 and 1988, he worked on his phototext « L’Incorrigible Beauté du Monde”. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, he photographed trees, Paris, sportsmen and women, and made portraits of his daughters, born in 1991 and 1994. He was in charge of their education. The years 1992 and 2003 were marked by illness: tuberculosis, a legacy of his childhood. Later, tired, he stopped producing images and made miniature wooden sculptures.
Solo exhibitions at Mind’s Eye / Galerie Adrian Bondy