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The Circle of Return at Lagoon Tam Giang Hue

The inspiration for this series is drawn from “The Tale of Từ Thức Marrying a Goddess,” a story that delves into the life of Từ Thức during the Trần dynasty. He encounters and weds a goddess in the divine realm, only to later depart from his celestial spouse to revisit his hometown. Unbeknownst to him, countless ages have transpired in the mortal world during his absence.

Set in Hue, amidst the tranquil lagoon of Tam Gian,


1954 The Great Migration to the South of Vietnam – Operation Passage to Freedom

Migration and the Geneva Accords

After the 1954 Geneva Accords divided Vietnam into North and South, there was a 300-day period (ending on May 18, 1955) during which Vietnamese people could freely choose their place of residence.

A massive migration occurred, with approximately 1 million people moving from the north to the south and around 50,000 people moving from the south to the north.

The unexpected migration prompted the North Vietnamese government to block roads,


1954-2024 : General Giap, Dien Bien Phu Battle and Geneva Conference – the end of Indochina war

On May 7th of this year 2024, we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the battle of Dien Bien Phu. This article highlights the military events and the Geneva conference that opens at the same time as the final days of a battle taking place thousands of kilometers away, the outcome of which is eagerly followed by the French media.

The Geneva Conference of 1954 was a conference that took place in Geneva, Switzerland,


Farewell portraits, a photographic practice, from the college Nguyen Van Khue in the 50s

The portraits in this collection were given by students to their professor at the end of their instruction in the 50s. The written words on the back primarily serve as a formal farewell and provide information about their names and the dates, allowing us to identify the individuals. Fortunately, within one specific portrait, the student also included the name of the Nguyen Van Khue School.

Professor Huỳnh Công Ân says : “From its inception in 1940, Nguyen Van Khue School stood as one of the largest private schools in Cochinchina during the French colonization period.


ChoLon, Dreams Factories of Saigon

The historical aftermath of the Qing Dynasty’s overthrow of the Ming Dynasty in 17th-century China led to Ming loyalists seeking refuge in Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, these Chinese immigrants played a pioneering role during the “March to the South.” They settled in Bien Hoa. By the late 18th century, to escape the massacres perpetrated by Tay-son troops, the community regrouped in the present-day location of Cholon, situated 11 kilometers away from the center of Saigon,


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.


Vietnamese historical photography, paths from Hong Kong to Cholon, Saigon Chinatown

For the Indochina period, historian François Drémeaux reveals an intriguing fact: Hong Kong served as the first harbor of French Indochina. This choice was influenced by several factors, with one of the primary attractions being the city’s favorable taxes and free port system.

The Vietnamese Administration of the Nguyen Dynasty also recognized this advantage. In 1865, they dispatched Dr. Dang Huy Tru on a Chinese mission to explore Hong Kong’s current development. At that time,


Photographer Huong Ky Photo, archives of a precursor film maker in Indochina time

The name of Huong Ky Photo is more associated to the history of cinema in Vietnam than to Photography.

Located in Hang Trong Street (Rue des tambours), Hanoi, the studio photo was established in 1905 by Mr. Nguyen Lan Huong (1887 – 1949).

This street is famous for the production of a specific woodcut paintings. The craftsman only prints the black outlines of the image, then will finish the details by hand.


Reality shows for the Independence Palace, the modernist architecture icon of Saigon

The Independence Palace, completed in 1966 by the architect Ngô Viết Thụ, winner of the Prix de Rome, was never inhabited by President Ngo Dinh Diem who requested its construction but by the next President who made him assassinated.  It has become a museum since April 30, 1975 when tanks have crashed through its gates.

Renamed as Reunification Palace, It is now the gathering place for all the city’s major festivities and commemorations.


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.