Nguyen Thanh Hai (aka Maika Elan) was born in Hanoi in 1986.
Lives and works in Vietnam.
After a BA in Sociology at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Maika started to use the camera, and then Lomo’s family cameras, to take pictures of her daily and private life in 2006. She turned to professional photography soon starting collaborations for editorial clients and fashion firms in Vietnam. In 2010 Maika moved to documentary photography and her first project called The Pink Choice, focused on personal life of gay couples in Vietnam, has been published in many magazines on print and online such as in USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain, China, India and Brazil. Maika Elan was double-awarded for the “best photo essay” and the “best single photo” in 2010 at Indochina Media Memorial Foundation and in 2012 The Pink Choice was finalist at Asian Women Photographers.
Her first solo exhibition has been hosted at Goethe Institut in Hanoi in 2012.
The Pink Choice won 1st prize stories, Contemporary Issues, at World Press Photo 2013.