Int'l Photographic Art Congress comes to Vietnam

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The 30th International Federation of Photographic Art Congress (FIAP) is being held in Vietnam from August 1 to 8.

This is the first time the biennial conference has come to Vietnam, with the participation of about 240 photographers from 43 countries and territories.

Talking to the local media, FIAP's president, Emile Wanderscheid, indicated that black and white works by Vietnamese artists here have been a known quantity outside the country for some 20 years.

They stressed the unique quality of Vietnamese aesthetic.

"I want to emphasize the natural characteristic of Vietnam's photography," said Jacques Denis, vice president of FIAP. "We should neither lose our identity, nor to be influenced by others."

The congress' organizer, the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists, held an exhibition of selected photos from previous FIAPs at the Exhibition Center for Culture and Arts in Hanoi.

Starting on August 3, the organizers led forays to national treasures, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the Opera House and the old quarter of Hanoi. The shutterbugs will also make stops at the coal mine in Quang Ninh, and other spots in the northern provinces of Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa.

"Photos taken during the trips will be compiled into a book by the FIAP members in Vietnam," said Vu Quoc Khanh, president of Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists.

FIAP was established in 1947 with five original member states. Since then, the organization has grown to include members in 80 countries and territories across five continents.

Vietnam became the 65th member of FIAP in 1989 and now boasts 300 artist-members; nearly half that group has netted awards at previous international competitions.

Vietnam is the second Asian country to host the congress, after China.

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