In 2014, an active group of eleven Kuwaiti photographers, led by prominent Kuwaiti photographer, Tayseer Al-Hamad, headed for a trip to Vietnam, which served as an extraordinary subject for their passions.
Resultantly, coming up with beautiful and refreshing images of the country, the group, "The Eleven", varied in their enthusiasm but bonded by their common love of photography, recently catapulted their full photo library, which focused on "portraits and faces" of Vietnam, at an exhibition held at Al-Tilal Gallery. It also included their coffee table book, Faces of Vietnam, featuring the full photo library.
The three-day charity photography exhibition, held from 11 to 13 May, in the presence of Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Nguyen Hong Thao, saw a notable number of them being sold-out fast, with the sales proceeds donated to The Kuwait Center For Autism.
Photographer Al-Hamad, having traveled to – places that prove to be inspiring in, both, artistic sense for photography purposes as well as on humanistic level– through Asian countries, including Thailand, China, Japan and India extensively, noted, "Two of my great passions in life are travel and photography. It is an amazing experience to observe and photograph such varied cultures and I see it as a privilege that I am able to share the beauty and diversity of the world I have seen, with others."
Elaborating on the book, he explained, "This book is about our trip to north of Republic of Vietnam, in October 2014. We covered Hanoi, Dian Bien Phu, Lai Chau, Phong Thu, Sapa and Ninh Binh in 12 days. We were 11 people, all sharing the same spirit but different techniques. This is where the name of the book came from."
In the book, Saleh Al-Kouh, a member of the group, mentioned about the appeal of Vietnam and how it charms a photographer all the more, "Hanoi is full of hustle bustle and very busy city with lots of small streets and corners of old and ancient buildings. The Sapa Hills are incredibly amazing with endless rice terraces and vegetable and fruit fields. The people of Sapa are unique in their cultures and living. Their women and young girls dress in bright headdresses and clothing full of colorful embroidery. Their daily home living gave us interesting photography opportunities."
Of the people of Vietnam, its culture and natural beauty, Nasser AlHumaidi exponentiated, "Vietnam seems specially endowed. The beauty of nature and its landscape in Vietnam are breathtaking and guaranteed to relax and rejuvenate. But what made the trip to Vietnam a truly treasured experience was the Vietnamese people."
By Ghazal Praveen