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Digital museum promotes Vietnam’s 54 ethnicities

Wednesday, 25/10/2023 14:52

An online photo exhibition entitled ‘Precious Heritage’ has been launched on global digital platform Google Arts & Culture to help people around the world explore the rich cultural tapestry of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic tribes.


The collection includes nearly 200 photos and videos by French photographer Réhahn Croquevielle.

The works on display include nearly 200 photos and videos by French photographer Réhahn Croquevielle, who has spent 16 years travelling across Vietnam to record the life and people in the country.

The photos and videos are introduced with captions in both Vietnamese and English. “Discover striking portraits, stories, and heirlooms that can’t be found anywhere else in the world,” says Goggle.

Previously, the photo collection was displayed at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi. It also helped Réhahn win the trophy for French nationals abroad awarded by the information website lepetitjournal.com in 2018.

The collection is now displayed for free for public at the Precious Heritage Museum and Art Gallery, which was founded by Réhahn in Vietnam’s Hoi An Old Town.

Five rooms spanning over 500 sq. m in a 19th century French house, present hundreds of portraits, over 60 costumes, tribal songs, and a sense of wonderment. Visitors can follow Réhahn through each room on his nearly decade-long journey to document the 54 ethnic tribes and their subgroups in Vietnam.

Arranged into eight sections, the ‘Precious Heritage’ virtual exhibition is a journey to discover the portraits of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups, from the northern mountains to the central coastal provinces and Central Highlands, and the Southern region.

Réhahn’s photos captures the portraits of the indigenous elderly, children, and youth in their people's traditional costumes and jewellery.

The photos also introduce production activities, agricultural tools, and musical instruments of the ethnic groups.

The ‘Precious Heritage’ virtual exhibition is a journey to discover the portraits of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups, from the northern mountains to the central coastal provinces and Central Highlands, and the Southern region.

Each ethnic group featured in the collection has specific explanations about its place of residence, population, and unique customs, which are referenced from official Vietnamese sources and collected by Réhahn during his trips.

Notably, the collection includes many pictures on ethnic groups with very small populations in Vietnam, whose cultural identities are facing a high risk fading into oblivion, such as the Bo Y, Phu La, La Hu, Pu Peo, Pa Then, Si La, and Co Ho ethnic communities.

For Réhahn, the cultural heritage of ethnic minorities is an endless source of inspiration. He once shared that although many minority villages in the northern mountains are very isolated and difficult to travel to, they have attracted him so much that he has returned there many times to admire the beauty of the exquisite brocades, the friendly smiles of the local people, and the melodious songs which he doesn’t even understand the lyrics to.

The French photographer's trips to the central and southern regions were also full of impressions and emotions. Réhahn has even visited areas where ethnic minority communities have never met foreigners. His most special meeting was probably with the O Du ethnic people, the ethnic group having the smallest population in Vietnam with only more than 400 people living in Tuong Duong District, Nghe An Province.

In addition to capturing portraits of ethnic minorities, some photos of Réhahn’s ‘Precious Heritage’ collection also capture the beauty of Vietnam's natural landscape and the centuries-old tradition of indigo dyeing techniques of the Dao, H'Mong, Nung, and La Chi ethnic groups.

For centuries, the ethnic groups have harvested hemp and transformed indigofera plants into a deep blue dye with which to tint their garments. These techniques have remained an integral part of the culture, heritage, and the livelihoods of ethnic minorities to this today.

The introduction of the ‘Precious Heritage" exhibition by Google Arts & Culture, a global online platform sharing cultural and educational resources, has contributed to honouring and promoting the beauty of the country and people of Vietnam to both domestic and international viewers.

Launched in 2011, Google Arts & Culture features content from over 2000 leading museums and archives from more than 80 countries and territories who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world's treasures online.

More than 100,000 works of art with unique cultural and historical value have been accessible to viewers through high-resolution images, virtual reality technology, and augmented reality.

‘Precious Heritage’ collection by Réhahn Croquevielle is available at: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/precious-heritage-art-gallery-museum.

Réhahn Croquevielle poses for a group photo with Vietnamese children

Born in 1979 in Normandy, France, Réhahn Croquevielle has established his name in the world's portrait photography community.

He has travelled to 35 countries and taken many impressive photo collections of people in everyday life, which have been featured in international publications about travel and culture.

Since 2011, he chose to settle in the ancient town of Hoi An, where he continues to carry out his photography projects, exhibitions, and photo books on Vietnamese culture.

Source: NDO
 

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