VietNam

The Muse Fashion Show

Publication – Do Manh Cuong, hybrid design

When one wants to focus on the evolution of the society, it tends to history, fine arts, literature references that are spoken of. Fashion is apparently futile, but is the best indicator of the zeitgeist because it touches on everybody for many reasons.

One of today’s most talented designers in Vietnam and perhaps the most famous is Do Manh Cuong (DMC) who studied fashion in France. His credo is that “We know urban men and women in Vietnam need a fashion statement that represents their characteristic style and in a cosmopolitan way. DMC offers simple yet chic fashion, high quality clothing at affordable price. ”

To mark five years of activity, he wanted to dazzle the audience with his show “The Muse” on December 19. Preparations had put all possible superlatives into the media:  the most expensive (VND5 Billion), the largest number of models (50 male models, 50 female models), a catwalk of 50-meters long, and the presence of Vietnamese celebrities.

 

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Cholon, Saigon

Traditions and superstitions in Cholon during Tet

Cholon, Saigon

On New Year’s Eve, the Vietnamese remain in their home, just before the transition to the new year to welcome the ancestors through prayer. On the altar they have put fruits, including watermelon and traditional cakes such as banh Chung, symbolizing Earth with its square shape.

After this rite, some people choose go right away to the pagoda to pray to their own deities at the pagodas. I have chosen to go Cholon, Saigon’s Chinatown, the liveliest and most popular area to observe these traditions.

 

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Towers of Saigon

In the magazine the Guide – Top of Saigon

This article  has been published in the 2013 Janurary issue of The Guide, cultural magazine of the news paper Viêt-Nam Economics News.

When I returned to Ho Chi Minh City in 2010 I was surprised by the presence of large towers standing among colonial houses as my taxi journeyed from the airport to the city centre. With a mix of both nostalgia and admiration, I felt that a new page of Saigon’s architectural history was about to be turned.

 

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#2011

Phu Quoc – A Nature apart, between mangroves and magical trees

This morning, I put my camera in the backpack, got on the bike and I went “into the wild”, without a photographic subject planned or perhaps only to find a new inspiration on this island of Phu Quoc which I had visited too often. It is not advisable to take pictures at noon under the […]

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#2013

Editorial and photos – Phu Quoc, between mangroves and magical trees

Located off the coast of southern Vietnam, Phu Quoc was at one time a place for the exiled and imprisoned. Until recently, it took eight hours on a merchant ship to reach the island from the mainland.  This remoteness, though, was instrumental in the island retaining most of its natural treasures.

For most of the people, its main attractions are its beaches and the sea, with visits to jungle waterfalls also being popular. These two elements – saltwater and freshwater – have given birth to a vital ecosystem, a porous border between the sea and the land: mangrove swamps

 

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Habitat Mud house at Ha Giang

Photo of the province Ha Giang – a personnal affair un Dong Van

This  article whic I wrote after my trip in the mountains of Nord du Viêt-Nam has been publisged in the Guide, issue december 2012.

” I’m contemplating the mountains crossed by the stripes in geometric pattern similar to the locals clothing fabrics. These people have found refuge here, among  the heights that scare both Hans and Kinh people from the lowlands. To grow rice, they patiently engraved the land into embroideries of laces that are stretched as far my eyes can see. These strata are marks of time like the concentric circles of a tree.

 

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Photos traditional vietnamese art – Fight for Silk and Lacquer

Like any artistic project, you never know if your interest is really shared by others. Writing a proposal to the University of Fine Arts was a first step. Some pictures were then published in a solo exhibition. Following the positive feedback, I submitted this portofolio to some magazines without much success.

After the meeting with an editor woman who understood you finally, the series was published by The Guide, a cultural supplement of the newspaper Vietnam Economics.

This theme of youth and art will surely have part 2. Stay tuned

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Habitat and Ethnies – Region of Ha Giang, Dong Van, Lung Cu

In VietNam, the mountainous regions of the far north towns of Ha Giang, Dong Van can still give the illusion of remote lands.

Known mostly by the rice terraces landscapes who take the gold color at the time of harvest, this color reflects also on the wall of mud houses. This material thermally efficient and cheap is still used in traditional housing. it takes about a month to complete the construction of a mud house.

At Dong Van old houses are almost hundrer years-old. Geometric patterns of ethnic costumes (Dao, Lolo, H’mong) make a counterpoint to this uniform ocher.

The latest images of this series betray my feelings on the strangeness of this world but also the regret of its disappearance

Update: read the full story published in the magazine The Guide

You can also read this story about Dong Van GeoPark and how to go by yourself

 

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Dong Van GeoPark

If you had to remember a site for the beauty of its landscapes throughout Viet Nam, I will choose now the mountains of Ha Giang Province with its astonishing relief. UNESCO has reconize it as being part of the Global Network of National Geoparks (GGN)

In addition to the geological aspect, this region of Ha Giang Province is inhabited by 17 ethnic groups who have carved over the centuries the mountain with rice cultivation in the valleys and on mountainsides.

These people give us a good example of lifestyle that I hope will be preserved by the UNESCO label.

You can read also this story on Ethnies and Habitat in Ha Giang Province.

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Singer in Ao Dai (Hue)

Photography, Architecture and Fashion, The three wheels of Time

Photography has hardly more than a hundred years. However with its omnipresence it seems to always been there to record the time and memories. Watching a photo is to relive a past time.

Two other arts have the power to transport us through the ages. Architecture and Fashion. The first because it survives by its monuments, the other because you can easily re-create the illusion by remaking old the costume

This series of photos allows in three tryptics to rediscover the costumes Vietnamese women. From the Ao Dai of traditional singers from Hue through the french dress of the 20s to arrive at the ready to wear available in one click.

By bringing these three arts together, I myself was surprised by their evocative power and dreams.

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