The Hanoitimes - One year since its launch, the photo contest on ‘All People Unite to Build a Cultural Lifestyle’ closed with an exhibition showcasing its best works. Over 150 photographs were on display selected from more than 3,000 entries in two categories of single photo and photo collection.
The event succeeded in collecting a beautiful, diversified and lively picture of cultural activities held across the country. It also promoted the image of Vietnam - a country which possesses thousands of festivals, a longstanding tradition of national solidarity and cultural appreciation and a fondness for study.
By encouraging participants to take photographs which were full of information whilst also expressing the artists’ opinions, the contest attracted a great deal of interest from photographers in the collection category. Along with sets of photos depicting documentaries on social issues, such as ‘Di Tim Hai Cot Cua 17 Liet Sy’ (Searching for the Remains of 17 Revolutionary Martyrs) and ‘Tu Thien’ (Charity), the competition also received entries advertising the country’s culture and tourist sites, including ‘Lang Mien Cu Da’ (Cu Da Vermicelli Village), ‘Hat Boi’ (Boi singing) and ‘Hoi Dam Trau’ (Buffalo Stabbing Festival), which were granted the first, second and third prizes.
Awards were presented to photos that met the contest’s theme and requirements. The first prize winning photo in the single photo category ‘Ke Chuyen’ (Telling a Story) by Trinh Te Ha from Ho Chi Minh City praises elderly people’s sense of responsibility to the younger generation. The photo portrays a Cham ethnic minority elderly man telling a story to children. The children around him are captured in different postures, attentively listening to his words. ‘Bieu Dien Nghe Thuat Ca Kheo’ (Walking on Stilts) by Vu Thi Huong from Vinh Phuc province was awarded the second prize. Her photograph depicts a folk game at a festival in northern Vietnam. The people’s happiness and the beauty of the land in the rural areas of the region were also featured through the lens of the photographer.
The first prize winning collection ‘Lang Mien Cu Da’ (Cu Da Vermicelli Village) by Nguyen Thi Huyen from Hanoi presents a traditional craft in the ancient village of Cu Da, which has a treasured cultural and architectural heritage. In the nine photo set, the artist, who graduated from the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, focused on the stages in the process of making vermicelli taken from different angles without any set arrangement.
The photographic style of concentration on real people in a real life context can also be seen through the photo ‘Thu Hoach Mia Duong’ (Harvesting Sugarcane) by Vu Duc Huy from Hanoi.
However, the judgment board noted that although participants were aware of the focus on real people in a real context, many of them still paid too much attention to the arrangement of the subjects which made their works unconvincing. The photographers are encouraged to take their photos in the right place at the right time in the most natural and effective manner to highlight what they want to express.
The contest organisers hope that the same kind of event will be promoted in the future and will be turned into a competition not only for professional photographers but also for both young and old artists and all people who are interested in photography. The photo collection on ‘All People Unite to Build a Cultural Lifestyle’ is intended to be a cultural product that will be circulated more widely than exhibitions, which are only held in big cities and urban areas.