Viet Nam News
PARIS — A photo book on Huế, Việt Nam’s capital from 1802 to 1945 under the Nguyễn Dynasty, has just been launched at Foyer Vietnam (House of Việt Nam) in Paris last Saturday.
The bilingual photo book, in French and English, is titled Hue - La Ville Des Pieres Qui Pleurent, or Huế - Thành Phố Của Những Phiến Đá Nhỏ Lệ (Huế - The City of Crying Stones). Co-authored by Philippe Bouler and Sebastien Laval, it has around 200 black and white and coloured photos featuring the people and the landscapes of Huế. Some of the photographs were shown at the launch.
Bouler is the first art director of Huế Festival, one of the most anticipated culture events since 2000, while photographer Laval is widely appreciated in Việt Nam and has to his credit several photo exhibitions featuring Việt Nam’s 54 ethnic minorities.
Bouler, who wrote the introduction in the book, describes Huế as an ageless, romantic and poetic city. “I wanted to depict the rainy season in Huế, when water flows on its old walls and royal tombs. It looks like crying stones,” Bouler said to Vietnam News Agency’s correspondent in Paris at the book launch.
That’s not the only focus of the book. “I also wanted to feature the tears and pains of Huế women, whose families sacrificed themselves during war, particularly in the 1968 General Offensive. This fierce war time is embedded in my youth,” Bouler said.
At the release, Laval spoke about the love for Huế that Bouler and he share. Since his first visit to Việt Nam in 1995, he has been enchanted by the country. They visited every nook and cranny of Huế to see the beauty of the former citadel, he said, adding that the book not only introduces Huế to people but also inspires them to visit it and share a passion for its streets, landscapes and people.
The book is on sale at Phương Nam Book Store in Việt Nam. — VNS