11th International Art Photo Exhibition in Vietnam: A venue for photography lovers

The award ceremony and exhibition of outstanding photo entries of the 11th International Art Photo Contest in Vietnam in 2021 (VN-21) was recently held in Hanoi. The VN-21 succeeded in creating a space for photographers from 45 countries and territories to exchange experiences and share their passion for photography.

Visitors admiring a photo on display at the exhibition
Visitors admiring a photo on display at the exhibition

A total of 151 photos on display at the exhibition offered a vivid and attractive visual “party” created by the diverse creative styles of participating artists.

The International Art Photo Contest in Vietnam is organised biennially by the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA) with the artistic patronage of the International Federation of Artistic Photographers (FIAP), the Photographic Society of America (PSA), and Image sans Frontière (ISF).

This year’s competition attracted a total of 16,458 entries by 1,260 photographers, the largest number of entries that the contest has received so far despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organising board awarded 96 most outstanding entries, 43 of which were taken by Vietnamese photographers.

Accordingly, in the Travel category, most of the top prizes were won by international contestants. Vietnam bagged only one FIAP silver medal for a photo entitled ‘Vu Xuan Tren Nui’ (Spring in the mountain) by Pham Pa Ri from Yen Bai province.

In the Portraits category, Vietnamese photographers showed their mastered skills in capturing characters, choosing camera angles, and setting up lighting. Photographer Huynh Ha won the VAPA gold medal for his photo named ‘Cai Nhin’ (The Look) while ‘Tuoi Xuan Trong Vung Dich COVID’ (Youth in the fight against COVID-19) by Nguyen Cong Hung earned the FIAP silver medal.

In addition, Huynh Pham Anh Dung's photo ‘Mat Do’ (Red Eyes) was awarded the PSA silver medal.

11th International Art Photo Exhibition in Vietnam: A venue for photography lovers ảnh 1

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc awards gold medals and certificates to photographers who won the highest prizes of the contest. (Photo: VAPA)

Nguyen Ba Hao, a visitor to the exhibition said he was very impressed with the portraits on display as each eye, smile or facial expression captured in the photos conveys the soul of the characters.

While the Travel and Portraits categories witnessed the majority of photos in a realistic style, capturing moments of natural and human life, entrants of the Freedom for colour photos, and Freedom for monochrome photos categories gathered many fresh and interesting approaches.

Presenting in a variety of ways ranging from iconic images and random installations to contrasts, and even nudity, the award-winning photos left deep impressions on both the jury members and viewers.

In the Freedom for monochrome photos category, Phi Thi Thu Ha from Vietnam won the ISF Gold Medal for her picture named ‘Mat Doi Mat’ (Face to face), capturing the spectacular moment of wild nature when a snake and a bee faced each other in mid-air.

Photographer Tran Trong Luom from Ninh Thuan province brought home one ISF gold medal in the Freedom for colour photo category for a work named ‘Cau Nguyen’ (Praying).

According to photographer Vu Anh Tuan, a jury member, such contests like VN-21 provide a good opportunity for Vietnamese photographers to get updated on types and styles of photography, and learn experiences from international professional colleagues.

The VAPA has published a photo collection of the contest, featuring winning photos. A virtual exhibition of the contest’s photos was also launched on the occasion.