Launched by Happiness Saigon creative agency, in conjunction with UNICEF and Frame World, the #NoFilter photography project is using Saigon River water and traditional photographic development to engage with environmental issues in a fresh new way. By Elijah Ferrian.

Launched by Happiness Saigon creative agency, in conjunction with UNICEF and Frame World, the #NoFilter photography project is using Saigon River waterHappiness Saigon is a ‘creative connectivity agency’. They shy away from terms like ‘advertising’ or ‘marketing’ when defining themselves. They go beyond simply ‘targeting’ a consumer. Instead, they aim to envelop themselves in the journey of a consumer, to whatever the end point may be. Utilising and encouraging creativity as the primary communicator of their message is always priority. It shines through in their latest project, entitled #NoFilter, where art and environmental issues are being combined in a unique and exciting way.

In April, Happiness began a collaboration with UNICEF, Frame World (an advertising photographic studio based in Ho Chi Minh City), and a freelance photographer out of Singapore, Teo Chai Guan, who specialises in portraiture.

Photographs were captured in various parts of Ho Chi Minh City, and the collaborative team then used water from the Saigon River in the traditional development process, the various toxins and impurities having a striking effect on the final piece. The results are powerful and thought provoking. The flaws in each photo cascade throughout the image as a visual distortion, representing the unseen issues faced by families all throughout this major metropolis.

The project aims to promote awareness of the availability of clean water for children in Vietnam; not only among average consumers, but more broadly to encourage corporations to think more about the effect their businesses have on the Vietnamese populace. Creativity and collaboration encouraging more eco-friendly decisions from the top, all the way down.

Alan Cerutti, co-founder and CEO of Happiness Saigon, drives home the intention behind #NoFilter: “The important part of this is to raise awareness within corporate leadership. [Companies] need to be able to take care of these waters. We all have a responsibility, but corporations have to be the most responsible as they operate on a much more ‘macro’ level than individual people.”

The project has already won two bronze medals at Cannes Lion, which is essentially the Grammys of the marketing and advertising sector.

As a magazine, we have been excited to share these photos since we caught wind of the project, and hope that our readers are as engaged as we were upon viewing them.

UNICEF #NoFilter has a video on YouTube documenting the process of the project. More information can be found on Happiness Saigon’s website at happiness-saigon/work.