Photo Exhibition at Art Vietnam Gallery “Vietnam – 25 Years Documenting a...

Photo Exhibition at Art Vietnam Gallery “Vietnam – 25 Years Documenting a Changing Country”

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Catherine Karnow-Hanoi Barber 2014

Opening: Fri 10 Apr 2015, 6 pm
Exhibition: 10 Apr – 08 May 2015
Art Vietnam Gallery

From Art Vietnam Gallery:

Art Vietnam Gallery is honored to present, in celebration of the 20 year anniversary of diplomatic relationship between America and Vietnam, and the 40 year anniversary of the end of the American Vietnam war, the photographs of Catherine Karnow’s 25 year journey into the heart of Vietnam.

Renowned for her work for National Geographic covering the globe over the last three decades, Catherine presents an intimate view from the lens of the consummate insider.

Certainly her father, Stanley Karnow, the renowned journalist and author of the seminal book and Emmy award-winning documentary on the country, “Vietnam: A History”, has informed some of her passion, but clearly she has found her very own personal relationship to this land with its troubled history and promising future.

Catherine Karnow’s attachment to Vietnam, her 25 year history of photographing the changing society and landscape is a visual diary of how she entered this land of enigma and discovered its twists and turns at every intersection of life, becoming immersed in the land and its people.

Jeff Redos

Vietnam has a way of entering your pores, slowly, silently it becomes a part of your breath, the way you move in the world without you ever realizing it until one day you have absorbed its very essence in your being.

Vietnam has entered the soul of the photographer and at each juncture as she forms relationships – often lasting friendships – with her subjects we see not only the transformation of the country but also the photographer herself. Her photographs show her deep love for the country and its people. Behind the photographs are extraordinary stories of friendships and connections that seem destined, that perhaps define “gap duyen”: it is meant to be.

The exhibition is sectioned into periods of time from the somber years of the early 90’s, the General Giap era, the “doi moi” years, Agent Orange/Amerasians, and finally, the New Vietnam.

Each era holds its own special place, reflecting the moment captured by the lens of a sensitive camera attuned to the idiosyncratic atmosphere.

The early works are pensive and full of questioning. The Giap years from her initial visit with the General in 1990 to her historic return, as the solitary foreign journalist invited to his homeland for his funeral in 2013, are confirmation that not only is she accepted in this land, she belongs.

The Agent Orange/Amerasian works depict the sad legacy of war, tragedy for both sides, resolution unrequited. Disquieting images of disfigured infants, the loneliness of the abandoned Amerasians are not comfortable, but important. To face the tragedy of the past is to begin the healing. Amidst the sorrow one can perceive a faint hope, the promise of reconciliation and healing.

Catherine Karnow-General Giap Funeral 2013

Doi Moi works portray a country with doors opening to international trade. Foreign alliances are formed as the country, poised on the cusp of a bright future, is hailed as the new Tiger of Southeast Asia.

Moving on to the New Vietnam series of works, the youth of Vietnam come forward, blazing with renewed energy and a passion for life that is palpable as we gaze at brazen consumption, fashion without rival, and extravagant lifestyles, all merely a dream only a scant 25 years before.

We are honored that Ms. Karnow will be present at the opening as well as many of the subjects in her photographs and other Vietnamese and American dignitaries.

A truly celebratory occasion as subjects and photographer confront their shared history reviving and sharing tender memories of long ago.

For two American women, photographer Catherine Karnow, and Suzanne Lecht, Art Director of Art Vietnam Gallery and resident of Hanoi for 21 years, this occasion is a tribute to all the people who have touched our lives and made Vietnam reside in our hearts.

Please join us in this celebration of the photographer’s reunion with the country and the friendships renewed as it has progressed through the decades and the grand occasion of the 20 year anniversary of the diplomatic relationship of America and Vietnam. United in peace and harmony we move together into a bright future.

Catherine Karnow-Fashion Show 2014

 Art Vietnam Gallery
24 Ly Quoc Su (2nd Floor), Hanoi
Open Monday-Saturday 10am – 6pm
Tel: +84-4-3928 5190
Email: [email protected]


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