In love with Vietnam

Vietnam through the lens of a Spanish architect

After many trips to different regions during his 11 years in Vietnam, Spanish architect Salvador Pérez Arroyo opened the exhibition “Happy Streets” in Hanoi to display 80 black and white photos reflecting the culture and daily lives in the S-shaped country. 
Despite spending most of his time in Ho Chi Minh City, the 75-year-old chairman of S Design Company is in love with Hanoi. His recent exhibition called “Happy Streets” displays photos that reflect the true and familiar street corners of Vietnam and moments of local people struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. Arroyo said that meeting the people in Vietnam has brought his life energy. They are extremely enthusiastic and honest people, which inspired the architect to name the exhibition "Happy Streets".

Spanish architect Salvador Pérez Arroyo has been living in Vietnam for 11 years. Photo: Thanh Giang 

“Happy Streets”, a photo book which shares experiences about urban public spaces in Vietnam. Photo: Thanh Giang 

Salvador Pérez Arroyo shares the stories behind the photos he has taken
with visitors at the photo exhibition “Happy Streets”. Photo: Thanh Giang 

Salvador Pérez Arroyo signs his name in the “Happy Streets” books for readers. Photo: Thanh Giang 

Salvador Pérez Arroyo talks with a woman he meets on a street of Hanoi. Photo: Thanh Giang 

Young people who appeared in the photos by Arroyo
pose for a photo with him at the exhibition. Photo: Thanh Giang 


Salvadoran Pérez Arroyo was born in 1945 in Madrid. He has lectured at universities in England, Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands.
To make the photos more vivid, Arroyo captured the joyful, emotional images of the faces he met all over Vietnam, from street performers, girls in temples to young couples in cafes and customers and sellers at the Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh City.
With these photos, Arroyo hopes to convey a positive message about the life and culture of modern Vietnam. "Vietnam today is a modern country changing rapidly year after year. Community spaces are full of creativity and dynamism. I want to show the cultural diversity and habits in the contemporary life of Vietnam", Arroyo said.

"Chinese market" in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Salvador Pérez Arroyo 

A woman who reminds Arroyo of actress Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". 
Photo: Salvador Pérez Arroyo 

“Dancing in the streets”. Photo: Salvador Pérez Arroyo 

Couples walk around Hoan Kiem lake in the sunset. 
Photo: Salvador Pérez Arroyo 

The bride and her groom taking wedding photos
at the new exhibition center in Ha Long, Quang Ninh. Photo: Salvador Pérez Arroyo

Women wearing ao dai on the streets of Hue. Photo: Salvador Pérez Arroyo

The happiness of Hanoians. Photo Salvador Pérez Arroyo

As one of the top 10 architects in the world, Salvador Perez Aroyo is famous for special designs such as the Madrid Tower, the Rome Science Museum and capital planning in Madrid. Salvador Pérez Arroyo’s S Design Company has designed many impressive structures in Vietnam, including the People's Public Security Theater in  Hanoi, Sam Son FLC Park in Thanh Hoa and Thu Thiem bridge in Ho Chi Minh City.
Story: Bich Van - Photos: Thanh Giang & Salvador Pérez Arroyo

Ando Saeko and Her Love for Vietnamese Lacquer

Ando Saeko and Her Love for Vietnamese Lacquer

Japanese artist Ando Saeko has spent almost 30 years dedicated to the art of lacquer and the traditional lacquer craft of Vietnam. Currently a member of the Hanoi Fine Arts Association, she is known for her contemporary approach to art, combining natural lacquer with Vietnamese techniques.