Renowned photo purchased by Vietnamese living overseas

Published: January 03, 2018

'Hidden Smile', a photo by French photographer, Réhahn, based in Quang Nam Province’s Hoi An City, has been purchased by a Vietnamese living overseas in Australia.

The first copy of “Hidden Smile”, a photo by a famous French photographer based in Hội An Ancient Town has been sold at US$30,000. — Photo rehahnphotographer.com Read more at http://vietnamnews.vn/life-style/420493/renowned-photo-purchased-by-vietnamese-living-overseas.html#GFydbs0stStMY32J.99
The first copy of 'Hidden Smile', a photo by a famous French photographer based in Hoi An City has been sold at US$30,000. — Photo rehahnphotographer.com

The photo, which portrays Madame Bui Thi Xong, a boat rower in Hoi An, was sold at 30,000 US$ when its buyer, Cong Nguyen, came back to visit his hometown.

“When I looked at the Madam Xong photograph, I saw so much more than just the subject. Every wrinkle, every crease, not a blemish but a story of a life earned.  A life lived.  Devotion, work ethic and yet so much incredible warmth in her eyes,” said Chung.

“I didn’t choose this photo.  It chose me.  I do not own it.  I am proud and honoured to be its temporary guardian,” he added.

As revealed by the photographer, unlike his other 100x150cm photos, which normally have 15 copies printed in metallic papers in France, ‘Hidden Smile’ has only 3 copies.

All the money from the sale of the first copy will be donated to the construction of the museum of Co Tu ethnic people’s culture in Tay Giang District in Quang Nam Province, which is expected to be completed later this year.

The donation is part of Réhahn’s Giving Back Project, which is designed to improve the lives of the characters in his photos, who are from the poor, rural areas of Viet Nam.

The second copy of ‘Hidden Smile’ is being put up for sale at 50,000$.

Earlier, in 2015, Réhahn’s other photo, capturing an ethnic girl communicating with an old elephant in the Central Highlands, was sold at 10,000 euros ($12,000) during one of his solo exhibitions in France.

Madam Xong, as she is respectfully called by Réhahn, has since become the most famous woman in Viet Nam, featuring in more than 200 published articles, worldwide.  Her face is now the most recognised face in Viet Nam and in some parts of the world.

This iconic photo also features in the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, representing the strength, kindness and hard work of the women of Viet Nam.

(Source: VNS)