Exhibition looks to inspire women into living a brilliant life

February 21, 2023 - 09:49
The exhibition is inspired by two books that journalist and director Nguyễn Bông Mai plans to release in 2023. One is about the traditional costumes and the other is about her 99-day journey through Vietnam.


Journalist-director Nguyễn Bông Mai at the opening ceremony of the 'Dám Sống Một Cuộc Đời Rực Rỡ' (Dare to Live a Brilliant Life) exhibition. Photo dantri.com.vn

HÀ NỘI  Photos capturing daily moments and colourful stories about ethnic groups across Việt Nam are being displayed in an exhibition in the Việt Nam Women’s Museum in Hà Nội.

The exhibition, entitled Dám Sống Một Cuộc Đời Rực Rỡ (Dare to Live a Brilliant Life), aims to introduce and promote the unique features of national culture. It is sponsored by UNESCO – Việt Nam.

The exhibition is inspired by two books that journalist and director Nguyễn Bông Mai plans to release this year. One is about the traditional costumes and the other is about her 99-day journey throughout Việt Nam.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyễn Thị Minh Hương, vice president of the Việt Nam Women's Union, said Mai had a successful journey full of beautiful human values. 

"She drove a car to overcome herself, conquering roads and passes that are said to be challenging even to many backpackers, meeting millions of faces, passing 10,000km through 44 provinces and cities, and 80 villages to record colourful images and stories of compatriots across the country.

"No one can choose their birthplace, but everyone can choose a way of life. Mai has pursued a brilliant life, not to satisfy personal passion, but most importantly, the passion for contributing to the community." 

The exhibition features photos of various ethnic groups, captured during Mai's 99-day journey across Việt Nam. — Photo dantri.com.vn

Mai embarked on her 99-day journey on February 2, 2022, ending on June 6, 2022. She has travelled through the northwest, northeast, the Red River Delta, north-central, south-central, the Central Highlands, southeast, and the Mekong River Delta. 

During the journey, she contemplated the beautiful scenery, met new people, and encountered new cultural colours. A large number of readers and fans closely followed her journey.

She aimed to explore and comprehend the culture of all 54 ethnic groups, focusing on two main factors - traditional costumes and melodies.

After the trip, Mai collected documents about 55 costumes and 49 melodies from 35 different groups. But more important than those figures, the journalist had the opportunity to meet thousands of poeple on the roads and record the colourful life stories of various ethnic groups all over the country.

Since then, the female director has managed to spread the message Dare to Live a Brilliant Life to motivate the public and women, in particular, to break down social prejudices and their own limitations to fulfil their dreams.

“It was a solo trip, but I was not alone because I was loved, supported and watched over by so many people across the country. I want to talk about those colours, to show off the close friends I have been fortunate to meet on this journey,” Mai recalled.

"I am not a professional photographer to capture standard and excellent frames. I only talk about the journey with true stories and true feelings through my perspective, which is set on bare chairs, the wrinkled hands, the face with the glittering eyes or just the tiny bare feet walking on the cobblestone."

Besides photos of traditional costumes, visitors to Dare to Live a Brilliant Life could also see the faces and moments along the director's journey with exhibits that combine audiovisual experience. They could also meet the ethnics that met and supported Mai along the way. They are present at the museum to tell their own stories, their own people and their stories with the 46-year-old journalist. 

Mai presented the Việt Nam Women's Museum with 30 photos taken during the journey. —  Photo courtesy of the museum

Mai presented the Việt Nam Women's Museum with 30 photos taken during the journey.

The Dare to Live a Brilliant exhibition will end on Saturday (February 25).

Journalist-director Mai, born in 1977, is a former member of the famous band Con Gái (Girls) with three members. She used to work for Vietnam Television before moving to Ngày Nay (Today) newspaper, where she is currently working. VNS