My story

Quoc Trung Phan was born in February 1975 in Saigon (Ho-Chi-Minh city), Vietnam.

In 1984, with the wave of “boat people” and after two unfruitful attempts, his mother and he manage to leave the country. Chances make them cross the road of a French steamer, the “Chevalier Valbelle”, and bring them in France after a few administrative months in Hong-Kong.

Quoc Trung grows up in southern suburbs of Paris, in a cosmopolitan place. When he is in fifth class, one of his school-fellows, not capable to correctly pronounce his first name, decides to call him “Crocus”; the consonance is rather close to his first name and since, even his mother calls him “Crocus”.

He arrives at college and impassions for arts such as music (he will play drums), theatre, and especially photography.

The baccalaureate C (Mathematics and Physics) obtained, he begins without real motivation, studying at the university Paris VII (Jussieu) mathematics and data processing. He obtains the diploma DEUG MIAS (Mathematics, Data processing and Applications to Sciences). During these years he interests more particularly in photography by joining a photo club.

All these studies seem to carry him out to nothing, he decides to have a break and make his duty to the nation by taking an exam to enter to the ECPAD (Communication and Audiovisual Production Establishment of Defense). Surrounded of young cinema directors, photographers and other technicians of cinema, he spends the ten most intense months of emotion, disappointment and joy which he never lives; ten unforgettable months. Assumed to the Black & White laboratory as laboratory assistant, his serious, rigor and efficiency make him to be named person in charge of the laboratory at the end of his service and to be decorated with the bronze medal as “Good Soldier”.

At the end of his military service, he tries the entrance examination at the High National School Louis Lumière. Arrived at the second place, he studies during three years photography, option Image Processing, and obtains his diploma in 2002, thus validating a master.

He postulates then at the Opale agency, photographic agency specialized in the portrait of writer, as Black & White laboratory assistant. Two years afterwards, he becomes technical director of the agency, metamorphoses its information processing system and re-examines in-depth processes of validation, treatment and sale of the photographs by according more importance to Internet visibility and sale. The tasks automation makes possible to decrease appreciably the workload of each one while increasing quality of service procured to the press, magazines and publishers. The sales of the agency have increased considerably in two years.

The possibility of a future development in this branch is almost zero, or non-existent, he’s moving towards in high level systems programming for the Web and more specifically based on the Java/J2EE technology. Quickly integrated into an international service company, he participates in project development for major accounts, such as Renault and France Telecom (Orange Group). His capacity for adaptation, analysis, synthesis, and sense of teamwork, makes him quickly move from developer to lead quality assurance and tech-lead.

In the meantime, he becomes self-based entrepreneur and creates his company: i-Neko. Specialized in digitizing and retouching of photographic films for professionals and individuals, he also creates graphics for several websites and models of books for various publishers. With Crocus, rigor in science and creativity reach to coexist.

Three years passed away, the international economic crisis leave its trace on French companies, high projects are hanging out waiting for money and become boring. In the meanwhile, two travels to Montreal make grow up an idea, a need, a crazy envy of space and cariboos. One year of administrative request later, Crocus obtains a Permanent Resident authorization for living in Canada and decides to try another adventure far away from Paris. Direction Montreal, summer heatwave, winter snow, and poutine.

Alain Gravelet (2010, September)

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