|Bare talent: An image from the nude photo collection of Thai Phien, who has received the highest honour from the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists.
HA NOI (VNS) — A Vietnamese photographer famous for his nude photos won the E.VAPA Gold award from the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA), the first time such works has been given the association's highest honour.
Nguyen Thai Phien received the coveted title for his collection of 15 nude photos entitled Buoc Thoi Gian (Steps of Time).
The title is granted annually to photographers who display remarkable talent and devotion. This year, the other recipients were Ho Sy Minh, Nguyen Tat Be, Ngo Quang Phuc and Hoang Thach Van.
This is the first time the association has bestowed the title on a photographer for a collection of nude photos, signaling an opportunity for those doing similar work.
"Phien uses light skillfully to hide models' faces and delicate body parts. With low key lighting and monochrome techniques, he shows women's physical and spiritual beauty," said photographer Duy Anh, VAPA jury member.
"Through these photos, we can see the woman's internal life and how it changed through time. We also feel her sorrow and happiness."
Phien has taken nude photos for 22 years. His works have been printed in picture books and calendars and won domestic and international prizes.
"Upon learning that I have received the honour, I thought of those who worked as my models. They are behind the success of my photos and have bravely defied social stigmas against nude modelling," Phien said.
VAPA chairman Vu Quoc Khanh emphasised that the title honoured the photographer's whole career, not only this photo collection. Those eligible for the title must have had VAPA membership for at least 12 years and boast 20 separate photographic works that have won national or international prizes.
Each photographer nominated for the title has to submit a photo collection reviewing his career and achievements.
"If nude works boast high artistic quality, meet certain requirements and convey positive messages, they are on par with other artistic genres," the chairman said. — VNS