Photo exhibiton features legendary Vietnamese musician Sơn

March 01, 2023 - 09:09
A photo exhibition on late songwriter Trịnh Công Sơn, known as  the “Bob Dylan of Việt Nam”, is now open at the Book Street on Nguyễn Văn Bình Street in HCM City’s District 1.  


TWO MASTERS - A photo of late musician Trịnh Công Sơn and famous pianist Đặng Thái Sơn (plays piano) in 1993 is one of 35 black and white photos by Dương Minh Long on display at the HCM City Book Street on Nguyễn Văn Bình Street in District 1. Photo courtesy of the organiser.  

HCM CITY - A photo exhibition featuring late songwriter Trịnh Công Sơn, known as the “Bob Dylan of Việt Nam”, is now open at the Book Street on Nguyễn Văn Bình street in HCM City’s District 1.  

The event, Trịnh Công Sơn- Lần Đầu Gặp Lại (Trịnh Công Sơn- First Time We Met), features 35 black-and-white photos from 9,000 works of Sơn captured by photographer Dương Minh Long. 

It is co-organised by photographer Long and Son’s family and celebrates the 84th anniversary of the artist’s birthday.  

All works in the exhibition are being displayed to the public for the first time. 

REMEMBERING SƠN - The photo exhibition, Trịnh Công Sơn-Lần Đầu Gặp Lại (Trịnh Công Sơn-First Time We Met), features 35 black-and-white photos on late songwriter Trịnh Công Sơn, known as the “Bob Dylan of Việt Nam”. The photos were captured by Dương Minh Long. Photo courtesy of the organiser.

Highlighted photos capture Sơn and his friends, such as late famous composer Văn Cao, Vietnamese-French film director Trần Anh Hùng and singer Liz Mitchell of the German-Caribbean vocal group Boney M. 

“The art of black and white pictures by photographer Dương Minh Long will surprise viewers. His way of using different tones of gray, ranging from white to dark, leave a strong impression on viewers, including professional photographers and painters,” said Nguyễn Văn Sang of Đồng Nai Province, who visited the exhibition’s opening ceremony Sunday morning. “Through every single work by Long at Trịnh Công Sơn-Lần Đầu Gặp Lạiviewers can discover more about the artist’s life and career.” 


FAMOUS FRIEND - Late famous musician Trịnh Công Sơn (right) and late composer Văn Cao in 1994 captured in a photo by Dương Minh Long. Photo courtesy of the organiser.

 Born in Huế in 1939, Sơn became popular in 1957. His lasting legacy includes albums of romantic love songs, such as Diễm Xưa (Diễm, My Cherished Old Flame) and Ru Tình (Lullaby to Love), released in the 1960s and 70s.  

Diễm Xưa is well-known in Japan, where it was introduced through well-known singer Khánh Ly in Osaka in 1970. Later, the song was written in Japanese, titled Utsukushii Mukashi, and was listed among Japan’s top 10 favourite love songs.

Sơn went on to become southern Việt Nam’s most famous songwriter of anti-war music collections, including Ca Khúc Da Vàng (Yellow Skin Song), Kinh Việt Nam (Vietnamese Prayer) and Ta Phải Thấy Mặt Trời (We Must See The Sunlight).

He died in HCM City in 2001 after a prolonged illness.

The exhibition will remain open until March 1.— VNS