Autumn 2010 – Summer 2011
“Hanoi: Spirit of a City”, is the new and evocative photographic exhibition at the Museum of East Asian Art.
Taken in the years following the Vietnam War, the photographs explore the streets of Hanoi, the city that became the capital of Vietnam once the 20 year long war was finally over and North and South Vietnam were
reunited in 1976.
In October 2010 Vietnam’s capital city, Hanoi, will celebrate the 1000th year anniversary of its establishment. To mark the occasion, the Museum of East Asian Art is pleased to present a new photographic exhibition “Hanoi: Spirit of a City”, running from the 4th of September 2010 until the 6th March 2011.
Hanoi has had a long and complex history, being the on-and-off capital over the course of those 1000 years. In that time, Vietnam as a country experienced great political and social upheaval, reflected in Hanoi’s history as the city passed through Vietnamese, Chinese and French control. In recent history, Hanoi became the capital of Vietnam, when the North and South were reunited at the end of the Vietnam War (1955 – 1975).
During the 1980s, Vietnam was recovering from years of turmoil – not only from the 20 year war that had just come to an end, but also the preceding French-Indochina War (1946 – 1954) and Sino-Indochina War (1979). Although still locked in a series of conflicts throughout this time with Cambodia (The Cambodian-Vietnamese War 1975 – 1989), everyday life continued.
“Hanoi: Spirit of a City” explores the streets of Hanoi in the early of 1980s, capturing everyday scenes and evocative imagery. The photographs were taken over the course of three years as a personal project of Sir John Ramsden, who was stationed in Vietnam with the British Diplomatic Services. During his time in Hanoi, Ramsden became a flâneur of the city, using photography to capture his own experiences and view points of the people and places he encountered on his walks through the busy streets.
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