Award-winning photos showcase nature, daily life in Vietnam

By Hieu Nhan   September 24, 2020 | 09:15 pm PT
A collection of winning entries from 2020 Heritage Photo Contest that capture the beauty of Vietnam's landscapes and everyday life were on display in Hanoi.

The contest's special photo collection prize went to Nguyen Ngoc Hoa for ‘Muoi Ham Tuyet Diem’ or Making Salt At Tuyet Diem. It is one of 12 that capture the salt production process at Tuyet Diem craft village in central Phu Yen Province’s Song Cau Town.
Hoa said: "To produce white salt is an extremely arduous process. Salt is poured into an earthen pot and baked for 12 hours inside an oven."
Sixteen winners from the contest for photos published in Heritage, Vietnam Airlines' inflight magazine, were exhibited at the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts from September 21-25. The contest had received 277 cover photos and 96 collections comprising a total of 1,000 images.

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The 150-year-old Tuyet Diem craft village has four households that make salt to this day, producing a total of around 10 tons daily. Salt harvesters work from 11 p.m. until the following morning, and so the photographer had to stay up to capture the entire process.
He said: "Night photography is challenging, especially in a hot environment, with salt steam clinging to people and equipment. However, the image of people working passionately made me forget my fatigue or how slowly time passed."
Hoa, who is from Gia Lai Province, is a member of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists, and specializes in festivals, portraits of people and daily life. He has won over 50 Vietnamese and international awards for his photographs.

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The first prize in the contest went to Nguyen Hai's ‘Hang Tien’ (Fairy Cave). The cave gets its name from a local legend about fairies descending to play and admire the giant rock formations inside.

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Fairy Cave is about three kilometers long and the largest dry cave in the Tu Lan Cave System, which has 20 of them. Situated 70 kilometers west of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in central Quang Binh Province, it was discovered in 1994.

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Nguyen Huu Thong's ‘Mua Thu Suoi Yen’ (Autumn On Yen Stream), taken in September 2019, won the special prize in the cover photo category. Yen Stream is situated near the Huong (Perfume) Pagoda in Hanoi. Between September and October every year the four kilometer stream is dotted with water lilies.

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In the cover photo category, the first prize went to ‘Nguoi Giu Hon Viet’ or Vietnamese Soul Keeper by freelance photographer Le Viet Khanh. It features Bui Quy Phong, 64, a folk artist who makes and sells masks on Bach Dang Street in the ancient central town of Hoi An as part of efforts to preserve Vietnam's cultural values.
Besides the cover photo category, organizers also gave away awards to photo collections and single photos.

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Nguyen Huu Thong's ‘Nghe Nhan Ve Tranh Tho Nguoi Dao’ (Painter Making Religious Artworks of the Dao Ethnic People) was one of the Top 5 entries in the photo collection category.
The photo features Dang Phu Quyen of Bao Lac District, Cao Bang Province, making paintings that are used in religious celebrations by the ethnic Dao people. He is one of only two artists remaining in the northeast region who can make these paintings.


‘Mau Son Huyen Ao Trong Bang Gia’ (The Beauty of Mau Son During Winter) by Nguyen Xuan Chinh was another Top 5 entry in the photo collection category. Despite rising more than 1,000 meters above sea level in Lang Son Province, 180 kilometers to the northeast of Hanoi, it is not every year that the Mau Son range gets snowfall.

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Another entry by Tri also won a prize, ‘Doc Dao Trang Phuc Cua Nguoi Ha Nhi Hoa’ (Traditional Costume of the Ha Nhi Ethnic Group).
Traditional women's clothing is in black and red, and comprises a short shirt, long tunic, pants, headdress and necklace. The shirt is decorated with five or six silver coins that make a tinkling sound when the wearer moves around, and the headdress has a brocade lining and colorful wool exterior.
The Ha Nhi live in the mountainous region of northwestern Vietnam, mostly in Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Dien Bien provinces.

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Nguyen Ngoc Thien's ‘Kham Pha Day Bien Va Cong To Vo Co Dai Ly Son’ (Discovering the Sea and Rock Arch at Ly Son Island) was another award winning entry.
The photo was taken during a diving trip to explore the volcanic landscape of Ly Son Island, Quang Ngai Province, and shows an ancient rock arch at a depth of 13 - 17 meters below the surface formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago.

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