Vietnam's hill tribes through two lenses

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Two H'Mong Young Girls" (Digital print on Hahnemuhle matte paper, 2009) by French photographer Sébastien Laval

A hill tribe photo exhibition by two photographers -- one from Hanoi and one from France -- opened December 13 at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to a press release by organizer Art Vietnam Gallery, the photo exhibition "54"¦" is composed of works by the highly respected Le Vuong and French Sebastien Laval, recording the daily lives of Vietnam's 54 ethnic communities from 1980 up to the present in black & white and color photographs.

This exhibition, which will run until Jan 13, will be also be presented in the Museum Orangerie du Senat in Paris from June 27 to July 8, 2014 as part of the festival of Vietnamese cultural activities in France.

Veteran photographer Le Vuong has dedicated his entire life to taking photos of Vietnam. Now 95 years old, the Hanoian goes out on his bicycle early every morning, exploring the capital and capturing the ordinary as well as secret moments. He has traveled throughout the country tirelessly collecting an archive of precious memories of how life has been lived in a country that is rapidly transforming.

Mainly working in color, his works depict ordinary life in the city and country that he loves. Le Vuong's works have been exhibited in Europe, Asia and are displayed in the Fine Arts Museum of Vietnam in Hanoi.

Photographer Sebastien Laval first came to Vietnam in 1995. During many trips over the years, he began to record the daily life of Vietnam's ethnic minorities in order to introduce their beautiful culture to the world and create an archival memory of the ethnic minorities for future generations.

Sebastien Laval's works have been exhibited in Vietnam and France and he is continuing his research and documentation. He is represented by Art Vietnam Gallery in Hanoi.

Aside from the Hanoi-based gallery, the event is presented by the French Consulate General of HCMC, the French Institute, and the Embassy of France in Hanoi.

For more information, please visit www.artvietnamgallery.com

The Ho Chi Minh Museum is located on 65 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, HCMC.

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