Yin & Yang
Visit the village of photographers – named Lai Xa village (located in outskirt of Hanoi)
This land was well-known as the cradle of Vietnam photographers in the past. Overcoming the hardship during the war, the traditionally typical character of this handicraft has been kept until nowadays. With the main target of remaining the traditional values, the Photography museum was born as the huge exhibition of the Photography art.
Vietnam has thousands of traditional villages but there is an extremely unique village, it is Lai Xa photography village (outskirt of Hanoi). What does it mean? All villagers work as photographers, not farmers at all. Each of them is very skillful and makes big contribution on the photographic profession throughout the country.
By Highway 32, it takes us to Lai Xa photorgraphy within 20km to the west. This village has 5 small hamlets and a street named Lai Lai. With less than 1km in length, Lai is the most concentrated street in the village (6 photo labs and 1 lab). According to statistics, the number of labors in the village rise up to 40%.
According to the history books, during his visit to China in the year of the Ox (1865), Đặng Huy Trứ (native of Thành Lương village, now in Hương Xuân commune, Hương Trà district, Thừa Thiên Huế province) was witnessed. British-born photography has been gaining popularity. Due to his fascination with photography, in the next visit (1867), he hired a Chinese shopper to use tools and machinery to study photography. Returning to the country in 1869, Mr. Tru opened her first photo shop in Vietnam called Thanh Hiệu Street in Thanh Hà Street, now the Lane, Hanoi. However, due to the war, the shop was closed.
In 1890, with the help of his uncle Mr. Tru, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Khanh (from Lai Xa village) went to Hanoi to study photography at Du Chuong shop on Hang Bo street in Hoa. After months of hard work, after learning the secrets of photography, in 1892, he opened his own shop named Khanh Ky on Hang Da street (Hanoi). While practicing photography, Khanh also participated in the Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc movement. Due to this movement was exposed, in 1911, Khanh Khanh fled to France. In 1912, he opened photography in Toulouse. In 1913, Raymond Poincaré was elected President of France. In many hands of the new president at the coronation was Khanh Ky and his photo was rated as the best picture and was put on the cover of a number of newspapers, including the cover of the Illustration. After that success, another Khanh Ky store was opened in Paris.
In the years 1916-1917, when Khanh Ky is working in Paris photo is also the time Nguyen Ai Quoc Revolutionary activities here. According to Nguyen Ai Quoc in Paris (1917 - 1923) (National Political Publishing House, 2002), the first time to France, Uncle Khanh Ky, Phan Chau Trinh ... financial assistance, where and Khanh Ky has taught Uncle Cam to have money to operate Revolution.
In the following years, Khanh Ky cinema was present in Frankfurt (Germany), Guangzhou (China). After returning home, Khanh has opened more brands in other places: Saigon, Hai Phong ...
Not only develop his own photography career, at this time, Khanh also home to teach the village for Lai Xa people. By catching the know-how and possessing the skillful shooting techniques, the Lai Xa cameramen can take pictures in all weather conditions where the brightness is still beautiful. The image of the Lai Xa people show "class" superiority over other brands.
In the mid-twentieth century, Lai Xa villagers were really good at photography. They have established many brand names, not only in Vietnam such as Hanoi, Saigon, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh, Lao Cai, but also abroad: Laos, China, Cambodia, Malaysia , France, Germany ... According to statistics, in Hanoi there are about 40 cinema brands, of which Lai Xa owns the image occupied 33 brands with famous names such as Kim Lai, My Lai, Van Hoa, the capital of the gallery, Central, Aubella, Duy Tan ..., there are about 34 signs in Saigon, of which about 27 people are Lai Xa village, the most famous is Thinh Ky. In Hai Phong, there are 16 shops, other provinces: Quang Ninh, Nam Dinh ..., each with 4 or 5 shops. Common features of these brands: largest, most beautiful and usually crowded.
Thus, Dang Huy Tru is the first to introduce photography to Vietnam, and Khanh is the developer of this profession. With the work of transferring a foreign trade into traditional craft, Khanh not only Lai Xa people to become the head of the village but also one of four famous photographers named in the Encyclopedia of Vietnam, including Dang Huy Tru, Khanh Ky, Vo An Ninh and Dinh Dang Dinh.
Continuing the career of the predecessors, Lai Xa people still preserve and develop the profession. Since mid-2002, Lai Xa has established the Nguyen Dinh Khanh Photography Club for the purpose of exchanging experiences, demonstrating the passion of photography, and preserving and developing the photography arts of the village.
Since its inception, the members of the club have had thousands of beautiful photos, including over 10 outstanding photographs by Nguyen Dinh Can, Nguyen Minh Nhat ... art, nature, people and subtle expression in the art of photography, these photos were awarded high in the photo contest welcome Seagames 22 held in Vietnam, photo exhibition Dong province by the Red River and the photo exhibition "Living time and Ha Tay people" ... Not only that, every year the club also open classes for photography, especially art photography, Composed in many landscapes in the country.