Photographer bares all with Vietnam’s first nude exhibition

By Vi Vu   September 15, 2017 | 11:37 am GMT+7
Photographer bares all with Vietnam’s first nude exhibition
A photograph by Hao Nhien will be featured at a nude exhibition opening on Friday in Saigon.

'It opens doors to an area that authorities have been indecisive about.'

A black and white collection featuring beautiful lines of naked women, barring last-minute change, will be the first licensed by Vietnam’s government for public exhibition on Friday afternoon.

The four-day event at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association is expected to introduce 50 pieces by Hao Nhien, a young photographer based in the city.

Public interest was aroused long before the opening date as nudity has always been considered a sensitive matter in Vietnam and a public event of this kind has never been sanctioned anywhere in the country.

But Nhien said he had no problems seeking approval.

He said the city’s culture officials visited the venue one last time on Thursday afternoon to check the exhibition, and said they saw no problems with the photos.

Duong Quoc Dinh, also known for his nudity works, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the exhibition is good news for many photographers in Vietnam.

“It opens doors to an area that authorities have been indecisive about,” he said.

photographer-bares-all-with-vietnams-first-nude-exhibition

A photograph by Hao Nhien will be featured at a nude exhibition opening on Friday in Saigon.

The next matter is public reaction, he said.

Nhien and Dinh are just two of many photographers who explore nudity in Vietnam.

Their only official recognition so far is a license to publish the book "Springtime" by Thai Phien in December 2007.

The country’s first nude art photo album received a prize from the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists and was chosen by the Voice of Ho Chi Minh City radio station as one of the 10 cultural events of 2008.

But it was taken off the shortlist for the Vietnam Book Awards 2009 after being tipped as a favorite.

Phien said he had been turned down three times for applications to hold nude photo exhibitions in Hanoi and Hue.

Photographers hope that the latest approval means the government will have a more “open” attitude on the matter.

Nudity is not banned in Vietnam, but it has never been encouraged.

Cultural authorities in Vietnam last year issued a rule that banned models and winners of beauty contests from taking nude photos and publishing them online, only to revoke it several weeks later after receiving strong opposition from many critics.

 
 
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