New Internationalist

Nguyen Huu Tuan

September 2002

I was born in 1949 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Both my elder brothers were students at film school and I also studied at this school from 1972 to 1976.

After graduation, I worked as a cinematographer in one of the largest movie centres in Vietnam and was director of photography for over 40 feature films. When shooting a film, we were often in the countryside for several weeks. I came to understand that our film scenarios were very different from the reality of village life. I felt I could not shoot a film which could reflect that different reality but thought about my still camera and decided I would like to take photographs showing the real life of the countryside.

In 1994, my private picture exhibition called ‘Village Passer-by’ opened and eventually there was a book of the same name. Since then this has been my consistent subject: nearly 80 per cent of Vietnamese people live in the countryside and their matters are still the most important.

This picture, ‘15,000 dong (1 US dollar) per day’, was taken for my latest exhibition ‘30 kilometres from Hanoi’. I photographed country women working in a brick kiln. In Vietnam, women doing this kind of hard labour are still considered to be sub-labourers. Taking the photograph from above, where I could only see their hats, I wanted to reflect how women are regarded in this society: they are considered as objects and not as human beings.

Nguyen Huu Tuan, Vietnam

Drik Picture Library Ltd

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 349 This column was published in the September 2002 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Never miss another story! Get our FREE fortnightly eNews

Comments on Nguyen Huu Tuan

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Southern Exposure

All Southern Exposure

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 349

New Internationalist Magazine issue 349
Issue 349

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.