Opening: Fri 30 Aug 2019, 6.30 pm
Exhibition: 30 Aug – 07 Oct 2019, 9 am – 9 pm
Art tour & Launching of Makét 01: Sun 01 Sep 2019, 2.30 pm
Matca Space for Photography
48 Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
From the organizers:
You are invited to “Nhung Ngay Doi Nang” (Days in the Sun), a documentary photo exhibition on the remarkable life of Nguyen Van Chanh, the owner of the famous Luminor Photo photography stores in the North of Vietnam during the French colonial period. Photos are selected from three albums of Nguyen Van Chanh and his eldest daughter Bach Diep – Vietnam’s first female film director. This is the first time their works are published after almost one century stored away.
The exhibition is an extension of “Makét 01: There Was Once a Photography Craft Village” on Lai Xa village on the outskirts of Hanoi. This is the first publication of Matca, representing the immense effort in discovering the journey of photography in Vietnam, and will be published on 01 Sep 2019.
In 1926, after two years of learning the craft from a relative, the 15-year-old Nguyen Van Chanh, born in Lai Xa, requested a bank loan all by himself to open his own photography store and named it Luminor Photo. During the French colonization, the store already had 4 branches in big commercial centers in the North at the time including Hai Phong, Hanoi, Sapa and Lang Son. It was said that a portrait taken at Luminor Photo was ten times the average price at that moment, nevertheless the business thrived, the majority of its customers were wealthy people willing to pay for an exceptional quality and service.
The success of Luminor Photo had given Nguyen Van Chanh a rare freedom in photography and in life. If the portraits show a respectable, if serious, business-owner Nguyen Van Chanh, then photos from his daily life show more intimate, spontaneous moments of a young man. He stood out wearing a suit with slicked back hair, at the center of group photos or on the background of picturesque landscape with his eyes on the horizon.
A witness of time, the diary in photos depicts the life and career of a photographer – businessman in Vietnam who dared to think and dared to act, in the time when the country was transforming through the war and the exchange in cultures. An opportunity to not only reenact history through a personal lens, but to continue and redefine.
Exhibition prints are sponsored by Canon Vietnam.
Translated by Hanoi Grapevine