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Italian nights lend inspiration to city photographer

Update: May, 15/2014 - 10:53
City nights: Photos depicting Trevi Fountain in Rome (above) and part of the Duomo Cathedral in Milan are among the photos displayed at the Nocturnal Memory. Milan and Rome exhibition in Casa Italia. — Photos courtesy of Paolo Belletti
HA NOI (VNS) — A photo exhibition that has opened in Ha Noi offers an opportunity for visitors to discover the night scene in Milan and Rome.

Taken by Italian photographer Paolo Belletti, the 20 photos on display are a part of a huge collection that he has compiled in the two iconic cities since last June.

The freelance photographer said he decided to depict Milan and Rome in his Nocturnal Memory project because the cities "have significantly influenced my own background."

"I've lived in Milan for more than 10 years. I graduated from the university and began my career in photography here. I also work very often in Rome. So for me, these two cities are very important," said Belletti on Monday.

Nocturnal Memory is a collection of photos by Belletti and words [reflections] written by young Italian writer Giulia Cavaliere.

To take his pictures, Belletti typically left home at midnight and returned in the early hours of the morning – around 4am.

Through the darkness of night, the photos unveil the hidden life of empty urban spaces, paving the way for a new aesthetic and cognitive experience for the viewers.

"I want to present how the cities look like without their daytime bustle. The light of the night changes magically the structure and shape of every location and place," Belletti said.

"Through my photos, I hope that people who are busy dealing with their daily concerns and problems can stop for a while and look around to enjoy familiar places that they ignore."

On the opening day of the exhibition, the Italian photographer said that he was planning a similar project on Ha Noi.

"For me, Ha Noi consists of many interesting surprises. I don't know much about the city as I was here for just a week in November and this is my second visit. I would like to discover and penetrate deep into the city every night, trying to search for places that can inspire. So far, I've written down some notes," he said.

Casa Italia is located at 18 Le Phung Hieu Street. The Nocturnal Memory: Milan and Rome will remain open to public until May 22. — VNS


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