26/02/2005 00:00 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Photography and life

Photography came to Vietnam in 1869 with the opening of the Cam Hieu Duong photo shop in Thanh Ha Street (Hanoi) by Dang Huy Tru. Then it contributed its part in keeping Vietnamese people’s tradition of filial piety, i.e taking photographs for worship in the family.


“Joy”
by Thuc Trinh.


“Down the River”
by Nguyen Van Dung.


“Pray for happiness” by Dao Tien Dat.


“To the market”
by Bui Van Thanh.


“Laugher of water”nbsp;
by Hung Hoa Lu.


nbsp;“Harvest time”
by Pham Van Ty.

Photography came to Vietnam in 1869 with the opening of the Cam Hieu Duong photo shop in Thanh Ha Street (Hanoi) by Dang Huy Tru. Then it contributed its part in keeping Vietnamese people’s tradition of filial piety, i.e taking photographs for worship in the family.


“Market day” by Dung Nguyen.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there were collections of photos about life of the mandarins, old streets and daily life of the Vietnamese people. With the application of Iconographie, photography was more widely popularized.

In big cities like Hanoi and Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City), there were more people taking photos as a hobby and other amateur photographers taking artistic photos.

Great changes in Vietnam, including the two resistance wars for national independence against the French colonialists and American imperialists, helped photography quickly fix its position and a tendency of photographing social events was built.

The event that marked the development of Vietnamese photography was the issuance of the decree to establish Vietnam National Enterprise for Cinematography and Photography by President Ho Chi Minh on March 15, 1953, at Viet Bac resistance base. Later, that day was celebrated as Vietnamese Photographers’ Day.

On February 20, 1958, the Vietnam Photographic Artists’ Liaison Committee was established which attracted capable photographers nationwide in the fields of photographic creation and press. It is the predecessor of the present-day Vietnam Photographic Artists’ Association (VAPA).

In December 1965, VAPA was officially celebrated, marking the development in quality of Vietnamese photography. It is the biggest photographic organization of the country and a member of the Federation of International Photographic Artists (FIAP).

So far, VAPA has convened five congresses and its Sixth Congress will be held in March 2005. VAPA has now more than 600 members from more than 60 cities and provinces nationwide. Most of them are working for press and mass media organizations, and the rest as amateur photographers. Their works were highly appreciated at FIAP-sponsored photo exhibitions, and many of them were awarded A.FIAP and E.FIAP titles.

In the new stage of development, photography has many changes in both content and form. With development of software programmes, there are photos taken with the photographer’s intention, which marks the approaching and interference between photography and graphics. Some of these photos won awards at national contests for this theme.

However, the main direction of Vietnamese photography is that of social photography that closely follows great changes in life. Truthfully with its characteristics, i.e. recording the truth and respecting the flow of the events, the photographers reflect vividly the life with diverse activities. The breath of life comes into the photos, bringing fresh and perspective images through a pure and inclined-to-the-good view. Photography has enriched the visual channel of creation and becomes an indispensable spiritual food in the life of Vietnamese art-loving people.

Story: Vu Duc Tan

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