Wednesday,  Mar 21, 2018,15:32 (GMT+7) 0 0
Photo of old Vietnamese woman fetches US$30,000
Nguyen Quy
Friday,  Jan 5, 2018,23:01 (GMT+7)

Photo of old Vietnamese woman fetches US$30,000

Nguyen Quy

The photo titled “Hidden Smile” by French photographer Rehahn featuring 79-year-old boat rower Bui Thi Xong is sold at US$30,000 for an overseas Vietnamese living in Australia - PHOTO: COURTESY OF REHAHN

An overseas Vietnamese living in Australia identified as Cong Nguyen has spent US$30,000 to purchase the printed version of the photo titled “Hidden Smile” by French photographer Rehahn, who has been residing in the ancient town of Hoi An in the central coast province of Quang Nam for seven years.

The photograph features 79-year-old boat rower Bui Thi Xong on the Hoai River in the ancient town, who had a meeting with the French photographer in the summer of 2011 when he came to the town as a tourist.

Rehahn said the “Hidden Smile” work is his favorite shot from his collection of over 50,000 photos depicting Vietnam. It was used for the cover of his first photo book “Vietnam-Mosaic of Contrasts” published in 2014 to sing the praise of the beautiful natural landscape of Vietnam and its people through 150 photographs.

Rehahn took the photograph when Xong bashfully covered her face while smiling in front of his camera.

“When I looked at Mrs. Xong photo, I saw so much more than just the subject. Every wrinkle, every crease; not a blemish but a story of a life earned, a life lived. Devotion, work ethic and yet so much incredible warmth in her eyes. I didn’t choose this photo. It chose me,” Cong Nguyen told the Daily in an email earlier this week.

All the proceeds from photo sales will be granted to the construction of a cultural museum for Co Tu ethnic minority people in the upland district of Tay Giang, Quang Nam Province, as part of his “Giving Back” project designed to improve the lives of the characters in his photos who are in poor rural areas of Vietnam, Rehahn said.

The museum is scheduled to be finished late this year.

The 38-year-old French photographer had traveled more than 35 countries before he decided to settle down in the UNESCO-recognized World Heritage site of Hoi An in Quang Nam.

Last year, he also opened a new gallery called Couleurs d’Asie by Rehahn – Saigon at 151/7 Dong Khoi Street in HCMC’s District 1 to mark the 10-year milestone of his career as a photographer.

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