Man tells history of Da Nang via his photos

By DA NANG Today / DA NANG Today
June 22, 2022, 18:16 [GMT+7]

‘Da Nang -Then and Now', published by Da Nang Publishing House in 2022, is a fantastic photo book displaying photographer Ong Van Sinh’s idea of connecting two groups of old and new, past and present photos, vividly reflecting decades of development of the city by the Han River.


Mr Ong Van Sinh, former Chairman of the Da Nang Artistic Photography Association, has worked so hard and enthusiastically before and after Da Nang became an administrative unit directly under the national government to launch this artistic photo book. That is why Mr Sinh is often called "the person who tells the history of Da Nang via photos”.

The book is divided into two parts: Da Nang in the past and Da Nang in the present. For the first part, Da Nang memories through the professional lens of Mr Van Sinh appear on both banks of the Han River, along the coast of Da Nang Bay extending to the Nam O Sea and Cu De River mouth, along the East Sea coast, from the Dong Tra beach below foothills of Ngu Hanh mountain to Tho Quang beach at the foot of Son Tra Peninsula, in some villages of Hoa Vang District and also in some areas of Hai Chau District.

It is worthy of respect that Mr Van Sinh was able to record - it can be said to be immortalised - many images that are forever no longer visible such as images of small villages on the left bank of the Han River, in Dam Rong canal right in the inner city area, shacks along the coast of Thanh Binh beach and Vong Bridge, the first overpass of Da Nang.

All of them have remained only in Mr Van Sinh's photo book in particular and only in art photography as well as in cinema in general.

Looking at Mr Van Sinh's photo of some images that are forever gone, readers will definitely feel the change in the life of a part of Da Nang residents, mainly fishermen, and more clearly feel the innovation in the appearance of the city over the past 25 years.

However, not all photos documented by Mr Van Sinh in the past are only in memory, in nostalgia, in the hearts of Da Nang people and of Da Nang lovers as these images of Da Nang are still present in our contemporary lives.

On the contrary, for the current Da Nang section, Mr Van Sinh's lens focuses on the highlights of the urban landscape, on the works contributing to the renewal of the urban appearance of Da Nang, on the bridges that have given Da Nang the popular name of " the city of bridges", including the overpass Hue T-junction overpass or the world-famous Golden Bridge on top of the Ba Na Hill.

In general, Mr Van Sinh deliberately arranged old and new photos next to each other to describe the difference between the past and present of typical venues of Da Nang such as the two banks of the Han River and the shores of Da Nang Bay.

With the rapid speed of the development of a city being innovating like Da Nang, we are not sure whether the photos of Mr Van Sinh's current Da Nang will also become memories in the future or not. It seems that through the photo book ‘Da Nang -Then and Now’, Mr Van Sinh wants to convey the message “Let's reminisce and reflect on what we used to have; however, we should love and appreciate what we possess in this moment”.

Reporting by BUI VAN TIENG- Translating by T.VY