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1 day excursion: Lai Xá (photography) village

June 30, 2018 @ 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Lai Xá (photography) village is associated with many former notable and prominent people. The village, in Kim Chung Commune 15km west of Hanoi, is recognised as the birthplace of photography in Vietnam – and the hometown of many special talented photographers and scholars.

  1. Khánh Ký – born in the village in 1874.  He taught photography to Hồ Chí Minh and is regarded as the father of photography in Vietnam.
  2. Dr. Nguyẽ̂n Văn Huyên (1908-1975) historian, ethnologist and culture researcher. And Minister of Education for 29 years
  3. Vũ Đinh Hồng – Hồ Chí Minh’s photographer (1960-69)
  4. Nguyẽ̂n Quang Quyền – former president of the Hồ Chí Minh University of Medicine
  5. Nguyẽ̂n Quang Thái– a very popular mathematician
  6. Nguyẽ̂n Văn Chánh– photographer

 Morning part 1 (Nguyẽ̂n Văn Huyên museum)

We are guests of Mr Nguyẽ̂n Văn Huy (founding Director of the Museum of Ethnology).  He set up the Nguyẽ̂n Văn Huyên museum in the village. On display are nearly 400 objects and documents on the life and career of his father Nguyẽ̂n Văn Huyên and family.  This is a wonderful, high quality family museum. Spread over 4 compact floors it tells the story of the Minister’s life and that of his family. The way it has been curated also gives us a great insight into society, the politics and history of Vietnam – through the eyes of one family.  Huy will be our guide.

Lunch – bring a packed lunch to eat in the museum courtyard or we will go to a nearby food stall

Afternoon part 2 (Lai Xá photography museum)

Last year on 15 May 2017, the village opened a new museum dedicated to photography, the brainchild of leading village/community figures.  The villagers dug deep into their pockets to fund the construction themselves and museum designers employed modern technologies in the installation of exhibits as well as seeking advice from local and international experts.

Photography flourished in this village in the first half the 20th century thanks to one man, Khánh Ký (real name – Nguyễn Đình Khanh). Born into a poor farming family in 1874 he trained and inspired generations of photographers – his influence is still felt today.   He turned the village into a ‘photography village’.    Up to 150 photos, 25 panels/graphics and 15 glass cases containing 150 objects are displayed at two-storied photography house museum.  The exhibits, occupying 300sqm of space, illustrate stories of the photography trade, culture and society and document how Khánh Ký, his peers, supporters and successors turned this once agricultural village into a prominent photographic centre.

NOTE: Due to the more academic nature of this activity, it will particularly  interest  those who:

  • love museums
  • love photography
  • want to explore  Vietnamese history and society in more depth through the story of one family and through the camera lens
  • the chance to speak to the Director of the Ethnology Museum and leading authorities on photography in Vietnam

Meeting point.  Outside Pan Pacific Hotel, Yên Phụ Street, corner of Thanh Niên Street

Timing: we are finalising the schedule but for planning purposes 9am depart returning around 5pm

Arranged by:   Van & Stella in association with Mr Nguyẽ̂n Văn Huy (RSVPs to stella@fvheritage.org). Van will interpret as most of the community have limited English

Apprx 350,000 VND to cover transport and contributions to both village museums

We have a 16 seater mini bus so max people 14-15 can attend. This keeps the group nice and compact for this event.  Current cost 350k each. If numbers are low (due to heat and summertime) we may need to slightly revise the per head cost in order to cover our expenses.


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June 30, 2018
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Event Categories:
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Stella Ciorra
01662 979 605