|AWARDED: Photographer Vũ Đức Hải received the National Record cetificate for having won the largest number of awards in photo exhibitions around the world. Photo courtesy of VietKings|
By Lương Hương
Hà Nội-based photographer Vũ Đức Hải has set a national record for winning the largest number of awards in photo exhibitions around the world.
A ceremony to present him the National Record certificate was recently held by the Vietnam Records Organisation (VietKings).
According to VietKings, in 18 months, from September 2021 to March 2023, the photographer participated in 368 international photo contests in more than 70 countries on five continents, having 6,354 works exhibited and winning 1,128 prizes, including 290 gold medals, 90 silver medals, 150 bronze medals and other 598 distinctions.
Hải was born into a family with a long tradition of photography, with seven members pursuing the art form, in Lập Thạch District, Vĩnh Phúc Province, in 1957.
Besides inheriting passion from his family, the 66-year-old has 40 years of experience working in culture, sports, and tourism sectors.
He is a member of the Việt Nam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA), the World Federation of Photographers and the Việt Nam Association of Theatre Artists, specialising in script writing.
Hải has continually striven to release beautiful works that capture precious moments of life with significant artistic, contemporary and historical visual content.
He has constantly travelled all over Việt Nam to search for moments in daily life while studying the traditional customs and cultures of all 54 nationalities across the country.
Every moment of the charming beauty of many unspoiled landscapes has been captured in Hải’s photos and impressed viewers. Many of his works have depicted the beauty of ethnic minorities at work in the northern mountainous areas, or typical cultural beauties of the Red River Delta associated with traditional festivals.
|SNAPS: Hải has travelled across Việt Nam to capture the beauty of the landscape, people and cultures. Photo courtesy of the artist|
In the genre of press photos, he has thoroughly explored the thoughts and feelings of people at different moments. One of his works that left a deep impression on viewers is the photo "COVID-19 Examination for People Exposed to Dioxin Chemicals".
|HIGHLY PRAISED: 'Khám Covid-19 Cho Người Nhiễm Chất Độc Dioxin' (COVID-19 Examination for People Exposed to Dioxin Chemicals) has won many international awards, including a gold medal of the 4th International Salon of Photography. Photo courtesy of the artist|
There was no set-up in the photo, but Hải precisely captured the noble sacrifice and dedicated work of a female doctor of Hà Nội Medical University Hospital when the whole country was fighting against the deadly pandemic.
The silent sacrifices of medical staff motivated patients, giving them more energy to fight the disease. The photograph won the hearts of judges from more than 50 countries around the world and took numerous awards.
In 2017, Hải held the solo exhibition "My Country Việt Nam" in Hà Nội. One year later, he held another solo exhibition "Việt Nam on Our Way" on the Hà Nội Liberation Day (October 10).
He is also the author of two photo books – Vĩnh Phúc Quê Hương Đất Mẫu (Vĩnh Phúc My Motherland) and Việt Nam Đất Nước Tôi (My Country Việt Nam) – that includes over 700 photos considered a treasure trove of documents recording the lives of Vietnamese people from 1980 up to now.
|'Cứu Rừng' (Save the Forest) by photographer Vũ Hải. Photo courtesy of the artist|
His contribution to photo journalism in the past 40 years has seen him win high distinctions from photographic organisations worldwide, including Excellent Artist of the International Federation of Photographic Art, and Excellent Artist of VAPA.
Hải said he entered contests to introduce Việt Nam’s beautiful landscapes and tourist attractions to international tourists, so that they can better understand the country and its people's culture and traditions.
“Every time I hear Việt Nam named in an international photo contest, I am filled with emotion. It is my pride when the images of the country are known, admired and awarded by the world,” he said.
Hải expressed his hope that younger generations of photographers would break his record.
"Our nation is beautiful, and each of us has a sacred love for our homeland, so let's take pictures to preserve these landmarks in time," he said. VNS