Vietnamese photographers win 9 top honors at VAPA

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A photo of Truong Sa Lon Island in the Spratly Islands won a gold medal from the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) in the landscape section.

The photo was taken from a seaplane by photographer Nguyen A, the FIAP award was announced at the awards ceremony for the ninth International Artistic Photo Contest in VietNam. The contest, sponsored by FIAP, is conducted by the Viet Nam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA), which also awarded gold medals to category winners.

The biennial contest attracted 11,448 entries from 958 photographers spanning 36 countries and territories. The submission categories were portrait, daily life, landscape and the open section.

Á said he has visited the Spratly many times and whenever he does, he always falls in love with the islands and people there. He compared his infatuation with the islands to love at first sight. “Each time I come to the Spratlys, I discover a new splendid angle to capture in my photos,” he said. “I will return there for sure if I have a chance.”

The judging panel included a group of foreign photographers such as Agatha Bunanta (Indonesia), David Poey-Cher Tay (Singapore), Ly Hoang Long and Hoang Quoc Tuan (Vietnam).

“The contest is a rendezvous and a big playground for amateur and professional photographers in the world, where they can share the same passion for photography and learn from each other,” said Vu Quoc Khanh, chairman of the VAPA. “Through photography, we have a chance to understand the different cultures.”

In the landscape category, Early Morning by Giuseppe Tomelleri (Italy) also won a gold medal from both FIAP and VAPA.
In the portrait section, the FIAP gold medal went to A Thai Ethnic Woman by Vu Duy Boi (Vietnam). The VAPA gold medal was presented to Papa Carlo by Alla Sokolova (France). In the daily life section, the FIAP gold medal was given to Love in the Snow by Guanlai Ouyang (China) while the VAPA gold medal went to Tu Tam (Tolerance) by Bui Viet Dong (Vietnam).

In the open section, the VAPA and FIAP gold medals were respectively granted to The Swan by Tran Tuan Viet (Vietnam) and Relationship by Alla Sokolova (France). Boi, 64, said he had become passionate about photography since he retired and had more time for travel.

“Once I visited Ba Be Lake, the beauty of the nature totally charmed me,” said Boi. “When I came home, I tried to describe what I saw and experienced to my wife and children, but they couldn’t understand enough. I realized that words can’t describe how beautiful the landscape is. I decided to buy a camera to take photos of the places I visited to keep the memories and show my family what I enjoyed.”

Boi said he was amazed to receive his gold medal. He had travelled to the northern province of Son La to take photos of hoa ban (orchid blossoms). By chance he met a group of young Thai women. He took the photo of one of them and was surprised when the photo won.

“It’s amazing because landscape is my favourite topic but I won in the portrait category,” he said.
The exhibition will run at the National Photo Archives and Exhibition Centre in Hanoi.

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