A photographic event called “Photo Hanoi 21” is being held at the French Institute or L’Espace, showing the desire to communicate with each other through a shared visual language during a time of prolonged travel restrictions.

The French gastronomic photo exhibition entitled “Toque Blanche” by Hai LeCao, Chimkudo & Fabien Jacob is on display at L’Espace, Hanoi. Photo: L’Espace

Throughout the summer month of May, a series of exhibitions, talks and workshops will take place across several cultural centers, bringing diverse practices in making and displaying photographs from Vietnam, France, and beyond.

This open theme edition presents works created with analog and digital tools and looked at from a wide range of perspectives.

Under the program, educational activities welcome participants across age, gender, and level of expertise, stemming from the belief that photography is best enjoyed by all.

Thirty domestic and international photographers, visual artists, and creators will take part in the program, including oversea Vietnamese-French photographer Lam Duc Hien, French photographers Philippe Marinig, Alexandre Dupeyron, Joseph Gobin; Vietnamese-French artist Prune Phi; French artist Fabien Jacob; United Kingdom artist Nic Shonfeld and Italia artist Roselena Ramistella, among others as well as Vietnamese photographers.

The group exhibition of “The time has come to rekindle the stars” by Punk Dragon at Matca Space for Photography. Photo: L’Espace

Within the framework of “Photo Hanoi 21”, seven exhibitions will be held including:

– “Toque Blanche” – French gastronomic photo exhibition at L’Espace in No 24 Trang Tien street, Hoan Kiem district.

– “I’m feeling lucky” with selected titles from RVB Books at Matca Space for Photography in No 48 Ngoc Ha street, Ba Dinh district.

– “Secret Moments of Maikos” by Philippe Marinig at The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam in 27 Quang Trung street, Hoan Kiem district.

– “Format” – group exhibition at Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (VCCI) in B1-R3 Floor, Royal City, 72A Nguyen Trai street, Thanh Xuan district.

– “Unexpected paths: Viewpoints from Europe” – group exhibition by international photographers at VCCI.

– “The time has come to rekindle the stars” by Punk Dragon – group exhibition at Matca Space for Photography.

– And The Mekong, “Stories of Man” by Lam Duc Hien at L’Espace.

The group exhibition of “The time has come to rekindle the stars” by Punk Dragon at Matca Space. Photo: L’Espace

Additionally, stemming from the belief that “photography is for everyone”, there will be dozens of educational photo tours, which will be conducted at the weekends such as: “Day tour to Lai Xa Photography village”, “Cyanotype workshop” and “Zine making workshop” among others.

According to Thierry Vergon, Director of L’Espace, nowadays, everyone is potentially a photographer. The proliferation of smartphones equipped with increasingly amazing capabilities, coupled with the possibility of broadcasting immediately for formidable audiences on social networks, have democratized an artistic practice reserved half a century ago for a privileged minority.

The “Day tour to Lai Xa Photography village” is also a part of the “Photo Hanoi 21” program. Photo: L’Espace

“However, knowing how to write does not make everyone a poet,” he said.

He said the gatherings, exhibitions, and workshops offered to the public aim to reveal the talent, virtuosity, and originality that transforms a simple recording into a work that supports a story, which is the culmination of a thoughtful process.

“Photo Hanoi reminds us that behind an image, there is always an author, and that, as photographer,” Willy Ronis said, “The camera looks, the eye sees.”