Without an H

Photography from south-east Asia by Jon Sanwell

Posts from the ‘exhibition’ category

Hanoi / Yangon

Earlier this year, I had my first photography exhibition at the Vietnam in Focus cafe / gallery in Hanoi. Mirror Cities: Hanoi / Yangon was a collection of street portraits from the two cities. The pictures were shown in pairs, Hanoi in black and white, Yangon in colour, with each pair having something in common in terms of subject, style or theme.

The exhibition got a little attention in the Vietnamese media – I had my fifteen minutes of fame (or five and a half minutes of indifference) on VTV4 – but the main benefit for me personally was seeing a collection of my photographs as large prints. I don’t print my pictures nearly enough, and this is something that I’ve resolved to do more in the future.

On Bamboo Street with VTV


Last week, I had the slightly surreal experience of being interviewed for Vietnamese television, in connection with my Hanoi / Yangon exhibition at Vietnam in Focus. As well as a sit-down interview, I was filmed taking pictures on Hang Vai, a street in the Old Quarter known for its bamboo workshops, and also the location of the ViF cafe / gallery. Obviously, I’m not used to being filmed while photographing and I felt quite uncomfortable with the whole experience, but some of the pictures I took that afternoon came out nice, so I’m posting them here.

Also, and I know I’m going to regret this, I’m posting a link to the full program (Culture Mosaic, originally broadcast on VTV4 last weekend; my segment starts at about 13 minutes). Honestly, I’m actually quite articulate and personable in real life, but put me in front of a camera and I turn into the awkward, sweaty, incoherent individual you see here.

(with thanks to the good people of VTV)











I’m delighted to say that my first photography exhibition is opening soon. Mirror Cities: Hanoi / Yangon is a collection of street portraits from the two cities. The pictures are presented in pairs, Hanoi in black and white, Yangon in colour, with each pair sharing some commonality in subject, style or theme.

The where and when:
Vietnam in Focus, 46 Hang Vai Street,
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Opening night: Saturday 10th September from 7pm to 10pm.
Free admission.

If you’re in Hanoi – or if you feel like hopping on a plane – please come along on the opening night, or pop in at any time over the next month or so.

Vietnam in Focus is a cafe / gallery in central Hanoi and a photography tour company, offering individual and group tours in Hanoi and northern Vietnam. A big thank you to Alex and Colm at ViF for making this happen.