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Apr 21, 2024 / 19:43

Vietnamese landscape in the 1930s through Ukrainian photographer's lens

The exhibition takes viewers back in time, to moments in the life, landscape, and people of Vietnam in the period 1930-1940.

An exhibition entitled "Sophia Yablonska - The Lifetime Journey Through the Century" was opened in Hanoi, marking 32 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Ukraine. 

The exhibition presents 55 photographs and documents by the Ukrainian traveler, photographer, filmmaker, and writer Sofia Yablonska (1907-1971). 

The exhibits take the visitor into the past and explore moments of everyday life, the landscape, and the people of Vietnam in the 1930s and 1940s. 

 Visitors to the exhibition of Ukrainian photographer Sofia Yablonska. Photo: Vietnamese Women's Museum

The black and white images documented Sofia Yablonska's journey to explore Vietnam, where she lived with her family for ten years.

Viewers are transported back to Vietnam's past through scenes of rural life with endless rice fields and hardworking people, the majestic wild landscape of Ha Long Bay, or images of the Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Long Bien Bridge, and Hoan Kiem Lake almost a century ago. The cultural diversity of ethnic groups was also captured by Sofia Yablonska through the beauty of Thai, Mong, Dao Tien, and Hanoi women.

The exhibition also reveals Sophia Yablonska's thoughts and feelings about the landscape and people of Vietnam through quotes from her diary Far Horizons, in which she described Vietnam as a mysterious and fascinating country.

Director of the Vietnam Women's Museum, Nguyen Thi Tuyet, said guests could appreciate Vietnam's beauty through the eyes of a foreign photographer.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Wednesday evening, Ukrainian Ambassador to Vietnam Gaman Oleksandr said the exhibition was a testament to the strong friendship between the two countries, as well as the cultural ties that have bound Vietnam and Ukraine for much longer than three decades.

The imperial citadel of Thang Long is seen through the lens of the Ukrainian photographer Sofia Yablonska.

He hailed Sofia as a visionary whose work transcends boundaries and speaks to the universal human experience. "Her photos are like windows into the past, providing glimpses of history, culture, and tradition," he said.

The exhibition aims to celebrate the life and legacy of Sofia Yablonska, he said, expressing his hope for a future of continued cooperation and friendship between Ukraine and Vietnam.

Sofia Yablonska is a talented artist, photographer, writer, journalist, model and travel documentary director. At the age of 20, Sofia embarked on an extraordinary journey that spanned the globe. Her adventures began in France, where she landed a contract with a film studio. From there she traveled to Morocco, Egypt, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, and Thailand.

The exhibition will run until April 30 at the Vietnamese Women's Museum, 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

Some photos at the exhibition:

 Daily life in Vietnam.
 Daily life in Vietnam.
 Dao ethnic minority women.