I’ve always wanted to escape. Escape from myself, escape from my country, escape from reality. But I cannot as so many things are holding me back. Frustrated with the situation, I found another way to calm and heal myself, through movies, music and meeting up with new faces via Tinder.
At first, they were just casual meet-ups to get to know different cultures and exchange life experiences, but it quickly turned into something more serious. I began to develop feelings, deeper connections with certain individuals after I’d met and spent time with them. It was fun and sad at the same time. My feelings went up and down and grew numb as each of those faces kept coming and going. It was like planting a tree, hoping it would bloom but also knowing it was not going to last long.
I used to think about all of this as a loss – people come, take a part of me with them, then leave; but later I realised that parts of them also remained within me. It was the most beautiful thing I experienced from dating in the ‘digital age’.
Ao Kim Ngân, a.k.a. Yatender, is an image-maker based in Saigon, Vietnam. ‘2-1’ features a series of fleeting connections from her Tinder Project, detailing unlikely characters who meet at random and fumbling in the dark, fall into each other.