American Photographer Captures Old Hanoi Through His Lens

This unique collection of photographs provides an insight into the history of Hanoi and its inhabitants.

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An engaging photo exhibition in the bustling heart of Hanoi offers visitors a unique glimpse into the city’s captivating past. Held in a picturesque setting, the exhibition showcases an array of compelling photos that evoke the region’s rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the city’s past through a variety of photos, including images of the city’s iconic landmarks, traditional customs, and everyday life. The exhibition provides an unforgettable experience, allowing visitors to gain a better understanding of Hanoi’s history and culture.

 A man (in the central) orders a cup of tea while chatting to tea shop owners and another client in Hanoi’s Old Quarter in 1988. Photos: William Crawford

A captivating photo exhibition entitled “Hanoi 1985 – 2015 in the Years of Forgetting” is now on display at Manzi Art Space in Hanoi until May 20th. The exhibition provides a unique insight into the city’s evolution over the past three decades, showcasing a collection of images that document the changes in daily life and forgotten moments in time. Visitors will be able to explore the streets of Hanoi and learn about the city’s history through a series of photographs taken over the years. Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to experience the vibrant energy and beauty of Hanoi!

He has travelled throughout the country, taking pictures of the people, places and events that have marked the country’s tumultuous history.

William Crawford has documented the history of Vietnam from the perspective of its people. His photographs capture the beauty of the land, the struggles of its citizens and the resilience of its culture. From the bustling streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the remote villages of the Mekong Delta, he has photographed the everyday life of the Vietnamese people. His photographs have been featured in numerous publications, including National Geographic, TIME, and the New York Times.

William Crawford’s work has been widely acclaimed for its beauty and depth. He has exhibited his photographs in various galleries and museums around the world and has won several awards for his work. His photographs have been published in books and magazines, and he has been featured in several documentaries about Vietnam. He is an inspiration to photographers everywhere who strive to capture the beauty and complexity of the world around them.

William Crawford is a renowned photographer whose work has gained him access to post-war Vietnam for over 30 years. He has traveled the entire country, capturing the people, places and events that have shaped its tumultuous history. His photographs showcase the beauty of the land, the struggles of its citizens, and the resilience of its culture, from the bustling streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to the remote villages of the Mekong Delta. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as National Geographic, TIME, and the New York Times.

William Crawford’s photographs have earned him many accolades for their beauty and insight. He has exhibited his work in galleries and museums throughout the world and won several awards. His photographs have been featured in books and magazines, as well as in documentaries about Vietnam. He is an inspiration to photographers everywhere, who strive to capture the beauty and complexity of the world around them.

As an American who had borne witness to the suffering and anguish of war, he felt an urgent need to demonstrate how humanity can endure even in the midst of intense anguish. His eye was particularly keen to the delicate nuances of everyday life and the customs of the Vietnamese people as they evolved over the course of three decades. He documented these changes with sensitivity and insight, capturing the essence of the Vietnamese people in his work.

According to the photographer, since the introduction of the economic liberalization policy, known in Vietnam as “Doi Moi,” in 1986, Hanoi has seen significant economic gains. People’s lives have improved drastically since the photographer initially visited, but the city has unfortunately lost some of its captivating charm in the process.

I wasn’t interested in hearing about the “lessons of Vietnam,” which always struck me as dangerously oversimplified, at best. Crawford, now 74, wrote in his photo book titled “Hanoi Streets 1985-2015”.

 Fan repair – popular in Hanoi in the 1990s. This electrical repair shop was located at No. 103 Hang Bong Street, Hoan Kiem District.

The photos provide a glimpse into the city’s transformation and development over the past thirty years, from 1985-2015. The exhibition brings together a diverse set of images, from the historical and nostalgic to the contemporary and modern. It is a reminder of the city’s past and a testament to its ever-changing landscape. Through the images, viewers can observe the changing face of Hanoi, as well as the city’s evolution over time. The “Hanoi 1985-2015 in the Years of Forgetting” exhibition provides an insightful look into the city’s transformation and development over the past thirty years. With eighteen street life photos taken by William Crawford, the exhibition serves as a visual journal of the city’s captivating journey from 1985-2015. The images range from the historical and nostalgic to the contemporary and modern, offering viewers a unique insight into the changing face of Hanoi. From the exhibition, visitors can gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s evolution and development over the years. It is a reminder of the city’s past and a testament to its ever-changing landscape.

Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to observe how the country has progressed from a collective, state-subsidized economy with limited goods and services to one of the most successful economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The International Photography Biennale Photo Hanoi’23 is hosting a spectacular exhibition for all to enjoy! As part of this biennale, visitors will get to experience a unique showcase of stunning photography from across the globe. From traditional to contemporary styles, this event promises to be an unforgettable experience for all who attend! With the chance to witness the work of renowned photographers, this exhibition is sure to be an event not to be missed!

 The A1 Giang Vo residential block in 1988. On the right side of the photo, you can see Volga, a Soviet car, which was considered a high-class means of transportation at that time.
Daily life at Ta Hien Street in 1999.
 The funky image of Hanoi in the 1990s: a power pole in Hang Gai Street.

A vintage Peugeot bicycle was parked on the side of a renowned shoe repair shop at No.132 Hang Bac Street in 1986. At that time, a bicycle was considered a luxury item and was worth a considerable fortune.

 Women vendors were chatting in front of No.26 Ngoc Ha Street in 1986.
 The Hang Chi Lane in 1991.
Ma May Street in 1994.
A tea shop (on the left) and a lighter gas pump shop (on the right) on Ly Thai To Street in 1988.
 Photoshop was located at 128 Hang Bac Street in 1986.
 The same, but different: William Crawford took the photo of the facade of houses numbered 22 to 26 on Hang Bong Street in 2000 (left), while Vietnamese photographer Nguyen The Son took another photo of the site in 2015.