Hanoi’s Photo Hanoi’23 Initiative Promotes Cultural and Artistic Growth in the City

Hanoi is anticipated to take advantage of the biennale to further its cultural and artistic growth, as well as become a more sought-after tourist destination, just like other cities before it.


The International Biennale Photo Hanoi’23, held for the first time in Hanoi, was a major success, attracting 170,000 visitors over the course of its month-long run. Attendees were able to enjoy a variety of exhibitions and activities.

The Photo Hanoi event has enjoyed tremendous success, with over 200 articles and programs covering it and garnering nearly 5 million views on Photo Hanoi networks alone. Furthermore, over 5,000 posts with the #photohanoi hashtag were sent out on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok.

The French Ambassador to Vietnam, Nicolas Warnery, has announced the success of the first Photo Hanoi’23, citing favorable statistics.

Opportunity to Discover Local Photography

The French Ambassador has affirmed that the event will help to professionalize the creative ecosystem as a whole, and also promote the economic development of Hanoi by joining UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN). Hanoi has a clear objective of creating a space of respect and dignity in order to use culture as a tool for economic growth, tourism and international exchange.

  Photo Hanoi’23 provides a rare opportunity for international photographers to exchange. Photo: IFV

“We may not have fully appreciated the impact of this event on Hanoi. However, it can be seen that many cities around the world have taken advantage of initiatives such as the Biennale to spur the growth of culture and art and become a renowned international destination,” the French ambassador stated.

Famous French photographer Sebastien Laval, who has been working in Vietnam since the 1990s and has also taken many great photos of Hanoi, has described Photo Hanoi’23 as a “rare opportunity” for international photographers to exchange and for the public to explore the work of photo artists worldwide with different shooting styles and techniques.

“At this festival, we share photos of Hanoi that are vastly different in terms of time, light, and individual perception. Photography is formed by light and it causes us to reflect on our relationship with time and space. The photos of Hanoi showcased in this festival are quite unique and extraordinary,” said Laval.

According to curator and photographer Nguyen The Son, the exhibitions at this biennale are presented according to the standards of galleries and museums around the world today, but they still remain very inadequate in Vietnam.

Son said, “This is an excellent opportunity for professional art photography practitioners because, through Photo Hanoi’23, we are inviting photography lovers to see how artistic photography is.”

He expects people to have new perspectives and a diversified approach to photography. On the other hand, Photo Hanoi’23 also contributed to improving the photo printing industry and the photo frame and paper business.

Preparing for the Next Version

The French Ambassador declared that the active involvement of international partners and local actors demonstrate that Photo Hanoi’23 is on the right path in terms of organization.

Ambassador Warnery has urged for long-term support from both domestic and international partners to ensure the success of art and cultural events. He emphasized the need for collaboration between central and local government agencies to procure resources for organizing the events, as well as financial and technological assistance from the partners.

 Ambassador Nicolas Warnery says that Photo Hanoi’23 is successful. Photo: IFV

Ambassador Nicolas Warnery has proposed a mechanism to support and motivate the creative forces behind the success of Photo Hanoi’23, such as artists, gallery owners, exhibition spaces, researchers, curators, and art critics.

“We must emphasize the importance of creative people at the event, giving them a prominent role and providing them with motivation and support,” the Ambassador emphasized. “Their presence will bring prestige and invaluable connections to the international community.”

He praised the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports for their commitment and determination in participating in this year’s event and preparing the version of Photo Hanoi’25.

At the closing ceremony of the event, Do Dinh Hong, Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, announced that throughout the event, 22 exhibitions and nearly 20 side events were held in seven districts of Hanoi, garnering a total of 170,000 visitors to the exhibitions and 10,000 people to the face-to-face and online seminars.

 Do Dinh Hong, Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports speaks at the closing ceremony. Photo: IFV

“The event went as planned and made a lasting impression on the attendees and people in the capital,” said Do Dinh Hong.

Hong said the city is committed to successfully implementing cultural initiatives and projects under UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, in order to promote international cooperation and cultural integration.

The experience acquired from this inaugural edition will be analyzed and utilized to ensure that the next edition is even more successful.

The tremendous success of Photo Hanoi’23 in terms of art and media will lay the groundwork for creating more partnerships and boosting the event’s reputation in the region and across the globe. Additionally, this event could become one of the main attractions to promote Hanoi as a tourist destination.