Antique and vintage photos Indochina

On the beginning of rice trade in Cholon with photographer Nadal during Indochina

Fernand Nadal, born in Algeria, arrived in Saigon in the 1920s. His first advertisement in the magazine Indochine française (1922) described his activities as follows: “Art Photographie—Photography for business” and “Publishing: postcards, photo albums, and documentaries on Cochinchina, Cambodia, and Annam.”

Unlike other studios that focused primarily on portraits, Nadal’s work provided a documentary perspective of that era. He published over 2000 photos, with notable albums including:

  • Ruines d’Angkor: A collection of photographs showcasing the ancient temples of Angkor.


Illustration Journal 1934, Photographer Khanh Ky on the visit of the Emperor of Annam to Tonkin

Text from the article

We mentioned, in our last issue, the visit that the Emperor of Annam Bao Daï made to Tonkin during the first half of December. We have since received some new photographs which illustrate with a picturesque commentary this study trip of the young sovereign, the impact of which was considerable in all the cities and regions he traveled.


Photographer Khanh Ky, The first photo reporter in Vietnam (Indochina period)

Khanh Ky’s real name is Nguyen Dinh Khanh (1874-1946), opened a photography studio in 1892 on Hang Da street. The business being successful he opened many studios in Hanoi, Haiphong, Saigon (1907, 1924)  even in China at Guangzhou (1924).Unlike other photographers, he attached particular importance to train his operators who mainly came from Lai Xa village, in Ha Dong province who is considered as considered the cradle of Vietnamese photography.

In 1910, Khanh Ky went to France to study photography.


Map Postcard Hanoi

Theses postcards written in early 20th century are unique archive sent from Ha Noi to different capitals of the world (Paris, Beijing, New York, Bruxelles, Hong Khong) give an historical value to the artworks

These conceptual maps are related to the colonialism epoch of  Viet Nam in the early 20th century.
Hanoi is drawn in transparency over the foreign city meaning the lost of sovereignty of Hanoi at the expense of the external powers.