Huu Bao – Photographer of Hanoi’s daily life

(VOVworld) – Huu Bao, a photographer passionate about Hanoi, has lived through the city’s major changes. Hanoi through his lens is busy or tranquil, old or modern. 

Huu Bao – Photographer of Hanoi’s daily life  - ảnh 1
"In Lenin Park" - A black and white photo taken by Huu Bao in 1980

Whenever he takes a photo of Hanoi, Huu Bao pours his own feelings into the shot – tenderness, power, indignation, and tolerance. He frequents Hoan Kiem Lake and captures what he finds most interesting: elderly people doing morning exercises, immigrant workers taking a nap, a young woman breastfeeding her child. Hanoi in Huu Bao’s photos is busy and chaotic with poor people scratching out a living on the streets and victims of a natural disaster wading in a flooded street.

Huu Bao says all these things constitute today’s Hanoi: “I take photos of Hanoi with my inner feelings. Whenever I go out, I bring my camera with me to shoot whatever I like. It might be a mossy wall, but it contains my love and my emotions.”

During his 40-year career, photographer Huu Bao has established his own angle on Hanoi, a city of simple, ordinary people, a nostalgic feeling, an intermingling past and present. Huu Bao says: “A photographer can capture memorable images when he or she gets inspired. Composition and light are tools to touch the hearts of photo viewers.  In a photo, emotions matter more than beauty.”

Poet Nguyen Quang Thieu, a close friend of Huu Bao, says viewers can see themselves in Bao’s photos: “Huu Bao snapshots are peaceful, tranquil, and ambiguous, embodying the character of Hanoi. Hanoi in Huu Bao’s photos is hidden in a dark alley like an old mother living in a self-sufficient house, occasionally glimpsed.”

Together with Le Vuong and Quang Phung, two other iconic photographers of Hanoi, Huu Bao is adding material to the treasury of today’s Hanoi, which will be left for future generations.