|Market fever: Ho Dai Phuoc (right) poses for a photo in front of Dong Xuan Market in Ha Noi. He has been taking photos of markets for the last 20 years. — Photo courtesy of Ho Dai Phuoc
by Le Binh
HCM CITY (VNS) — Ho Dai Phuoc has been taking photos of markets for the last 20 years.
He has travelled throughout Viet Nam to record images of traditional markets.
The images inspired him to set up a display of the photographs in the garden of his house in Tan Binh District, HCM City.
Phuoc is busy in these days to work with HCM City's Television's Channel 9.
The television crew followed Phuoc to the southern provinces of Long An, Tien Giang and Dong Thap to produce a programme about traditional markets.
Phuoc is recognised by the Viet Nam book of records as the photographer who has taken the most photos of markets in Viet Nam.
He appeared on HCM City Television's Channel 7 in 2012. He toured HCM City to take photos of Bau Cat, Tan Binh and Pham Van Hai markets in Tan Binh District, Hoa Hung and Nguyen Tri Phuong markets in District 10.
Phuoc, like many Vietnamese, remembers the traditional market and laments its absence in today's industrialised society.
The idea to take photos of the traditional market came to him by chance in 1993 when he and his family were walking around the Ben Thanh Market.
"I like travelling and taking photos," he says.
Often the market has the same name as the location.
Phuoc says that he takes photo of the markets to keep a record of the places he visits.
The markets in mountainous areas are unique, he says. They reflects the culture, environment and architecture and character of each region.
"Each market is different," he said.
Phuoc or his family always appear in the photos proving that he shoots the photos himself.
HCM City market management statistics show that there are 243 markets in the city.
Phuoc has taken 216 photos of the markets and says that he is preparing to take more.
He has taken 1,974 photos of markets throughout Viet Nam including five markets representing the five areas of Viet Nam.
They are Dat Mui Market in southern most province of Ca Mau; Ben Thanh Market in HCM City; Dong Ba Market in central city of Hue; Dong Xuan Market in Ha Noi and Lung Cu Market in northern most province of Ha Giang.
He says that the most impressive markets are in Lung Cu and Ca Mau.
"I feel peaceful when I visit this part of the country," he says.
In 2009 he travelled to the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang.
He found when he arrived that he could not take a photo of the Lung Cu Market as it was open only on Fridays.
Phuoc photographed the empty Lung Cu Market and added it to his collection.
His photos are filed in alphabetical and chronological order.
He has found that there are markets located in various provinces with the same name.
Six markets in central city of Hue; southern provinces of Tay Ninh, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Can Tho and Kien Giang are named An Hoa.
Tan An and Tan Binh are favourite names for markets in various cities and provinces.
Other markets are named Ong (Grandfather), Ba (Grandmother), Chang (He) and Nang (She).
Phuoc says that he will build another house to display his collection of almost 30,000 photos, including those of the traditional markets.
"I enjoy life, thanks to photography", said Phuoc. — VNS