Feudal Vietnam through the eyes of French photographers

By Phan Cao Tung, Thanh Nien News

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Rare images of Vietnam mostly taken in the early 20th century are on display at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum.
The month-long exhibition showcases around 100 photos selected from an archive of more than 200,000 pictures preserved at the French School of Asian Studies.
The photos, captured by foreign researchers, archaeologists and hobby photographers, feature the daily life of Vietnam during the first half of the 20th century.
There’s a photo taken in 1898 of the Cham temple ruins My Son in the central province of Quang Nam, and another of the now popular resort town Sa Pa in 1924. 
There are also rare images of royal ceremonies under Bao Dai, the last emperor of the country, in 1939.
Pascal Bourdeaux, a researcher and representative of the school in Ho Chi Minh City, said the exhibition provides a view of Vietnam from the eyes of French scholars who had lived and worked in Vietnam for many years.
The photos are worth more analysis and research if anyone wants to dig deeper into the past life of the country, said Bourdeaux, who has lived in Vietnam for ten years.
Ma Thanh Cao, director of Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, said the exhibition is not large in terms of the number of photos, but it shows “historic moments.”
The exhibition will run until June 28 at 97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1.

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