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Two Vietnamese pocket Travel Photographer of the Year prizes

By Minh Nga   February 4, 2022 | 11:53 pm PT
Two Vietnamese photographers have been honored in three different categories of the 2021 Travel Photographer of the Year.

Tran Viet Van, 51, a journalist at Lao Dong Newspaper, was crowned winner of the "Smartshot iTravelled" category and runner-up of the "People and their Stories" for a photo collection on Trinh Ngoc, a 90-year-old cobbler in Ho Chi Minh City who has been making shoes for over 60 years.

Throughout his career, Ngoc has made shoes for many Vietnamese singers and even the Cambodian royal family, including King Norodom Sihanouk.

A photo of shoemaker Trinh Ngoc by photographer Tran Viet Van.

A photo of shoemaker Trinh Ngoc by photographer Tran Viet Van.

In an interview with VnExpress International in 2019, Ngoc said the royals wanted to have shoes with traditional Cambodian traits to wear on special occasions. So he spent days at the museum in Phnom Penh studying local culture and tradition to come up with intricate patterns, using brocade fabric and other typical materials.

Born in Hanoi, Van started photography in 1998. He has had ten solo exhibitions, including ‘My Mum’ in Photometria, Greece, and has been a part of over 35 group exhibitions in Asia, Europe and the U.S. including the Fifth Exposure Annual Awards at Louvre Museum in Paris. He has won over 80 international photo prizes, is a judge of many film festivals and photo contests in Vietnam while his pictures are published in many books and magazines.

Commenting on his photo collection, judges of the 2021 Travel Photographer of the Year said "a lovely composition using color and shape to capture a 90-year-old shoemaker’s craft."

The photo of the water buffaloes by Nguyen Tan Tuan.

The photo of the water buffaloes by Nguyen Tan Tuan.

Nguyen Tan Tuan, who now works and lives in HCMC, was honored among the Special Mention group in the "Best Single Image in a Portfolio" category for his photo capturing water buffaloes along Dau Tieng Lake in Tay Ninh Province, which borders HCMC.

All the winning images from the 2021 Travel Photographer of the Year awards will be displayed in a free-to-view outdoor exhibition at Granary Square, London throughout April and May.

 
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