Tuesday, October 25 2016


Culture of HCMC reflected in art

Update: December, 21/2015 - 08:17

City life: Qua Mien Di Vang (Remembering the Past), a photo taken by photographer Tam Thai, is on display at the Sai Gon 9.000m2 Phan Chieu (Reflection of Sai Gon in a 9,000sq.m area) at the city's Photography Association until December 28.

HCM CITY (VNS) — A photo exhibition of the beauty and lifestyle of HCM City, taken by veteran photographer Phan Tam Thai, is opening at the city's Photography Association.

Sai Gon 9.000m2 Phan Chieu (Reflection of Sai Gon in 9,000sq.m) showcases photos around the 9,000 sq.m area around Notre Dame Cathedral.

The exhibition reflects a miniature picture of the city's lifestyle through images of luxury automobiles parked along streets, from vendors to lottery sellers to old cyclists.

It also features entertaining activities that young people and foreign visitors take part in at the cathedral, the April 30 Park and the city's Post Office, including taking photos, painting or enjoying street coffee.

"As a photographer, I want to take photos of the city's lifestyle as a way of keeping memories of my time living in this 9,000-sq m area," said the 63-year-old Thai.

On display are photos that appear in Thai's 520-page book 150 Nam Hinh Bong Sai Gon (Reflection of Sai Gon over 150 Years), which was released at the exhibition.

The book, published by the Tre (Youth) Publishing House, features 900 documents and photos from 1986 to 2013, which were taken or collected by Thai.

The work consists of three parts. The first part includes 600 photos and documents on Sai Gon from 1863 to 1953, with popular works taken 150 years ago as well as unseen works.

The second part includes 150 photos of the city in the 1950s, which have never been seen or published. They were printed from celluloid film. The last part features 120 photos taken by Thai during the 1980s and 2010s.

"I have spent dozens of years compiling and completing the book," he said.

The book priced at VND550,000 (US$25) is available at bookstores across the country.

Born in Quang Nam Province, Thai moved to HCM City to pursue his studies in 1972. Three years later, he returned to Quang Nam.

In 1976, he returned to HCM City, and has worked for the Department of Education and Training, Tuoi Tre (Youth) and Khoa Hoc Pho Thong (General Science) magazines. He is now a freelance photographer and journalist.

Thai has had three solo exhibitions, and has released four photo books. His book titled Ky Uc Mien Que (Memories of My Native Land) in 1997 brought him a VAPA Cup from the Viet Nam Photographic Artists Association. It was republished in 2011.

He plans to sell his photos on December 19 and 20. Profits will be used to buy bicycles for poor students in rural areas.

The exhibition will be open until December 28 at 122 Suong Nguyet Anh Street in District 1. — VNS

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