HA NOI — A dry golden leaf caught in the cobwebs... A snail lying by a window... The shadows of yellow street lights and a scrubby tree that has lost all its leaves in winter. The loneliness is omnipresent in Le Nguyen Duy Phuong's photos which are now on display in Ha Noi.
|A visitor inspects some of Phuong's photos on display at the show. – VNS Photo Truong Vi
The exhibition Mot Goc Nuoc Phap (A Corner of France) features 20 photos of landscapes from different cities in France that Phuong visited while travelling during the winters and autumns between 2008-2010.
"I didn't take the photos with the eyes of a tourist but with the soul of a person who was living in France," says Phuong, who admits he often feels lonely when he walks along the streets of France.
"When I go sightseeing, I often walk along the streets alone. I feel the loneliness of the landscape and sometimes I am lonely but I don't know why," confides the 25-year-old artist.
"The more melancholy Paris feels, the more beautiful it is," he adds.
Many visitors to the exhibit have expressed a high appreciation for Phuong's photos.
"Phuong's photos touched me. I can see that he loves France very much. The photos make me remember my time in France because I once lived there myself. I appreciate his talented use of light and his composition," says Nguyen Thanh Lan.
Also on display are numerous portraits of French people who once lived in Viet Nam, which Phuong took while he was in France. The people in the photos are surrounded by memorable objects they brought back from Viet Nam.
"I can see my country through their experiences in Viet Nam," says Phuong.
"To find them, and eventually meet up with them, I had to seek help from Vietnamese people. It took time to catch up with them but they were all happy to pose for the photos."
While he was studying photography at HCM City's Stage and Cinema University in 2008, he took part in a photography workshop at the Arles National School of Photography in France.
After this fruitful adventure, Phuong participated in the group photo exhibition Photoquai-Meeting of the Views at the prestigious Quai Branly Museum in Paris in 2009. He now works as a freelance photographer.
The exhibition will run at l'Espace, the French Institute of Ha Noi, 24 Trang Tien street, until February 28. — VNS