Da Nang, then & now

By DA NANG Today / DA NANG Today
March 24, 2023, 11:27 [GMT+7]

In order to help viewers have a panoramic perspective to really feel about Da Nang then and now, highly- experienced local photographer Ong Van Sinh, through his valuable photos, has honestly and vividly depicted the positive changes of the people and the land of Da Nang.

Nai Hien Dong fishing village from the 80s through the lens of photographer Mr. Van Sinh. Photo: T.V
the image of Da Nang - located Nai Hien Dong fishing village from the 80s through the lens of photographer Ong Van Sinh. Photo: T.V

A photography exhibition, themed ‘Da Nang then and now’, is running until March 31 at the Da Nang Museum of Fine Arts. This is an activity to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the city's liberation (March 29) and the 70th anniversary of Viet Nam's traditional photography day (March 15). In addition to local residents, this event is, for the time being, attracting many domestic and foreign tourists to visit.

Admiring the photographic work on display at the exhibition, Ms. Tran Thi Trang, a resident in Hai Chau District, said that she was born in Quang Binh Province but she has lived in Da Nang since the 80s.

She always considers Da Nang as her second home, so looking back at Da Nang during its tough times through such photos made her very emotional. “All the photos here help me relive old memories. I hope that not only my generation but even the younger generations should know about the difficulties in the past and recognise the current vitality to cherish and preserve the city”, happily said Trang

Likewise, until now, the image of the makeshift house on the Han River is still deeply imprinted in the memory of Mr. Dam Quang Vinh, a dweller in Son Tra District. He confided: “For generations, my friends and family members used to live in temporary stilt houses along the eastern bank of the Han River, in Nai Hien Dong Ward, Son Tra District. Many years have passed. When I look back at the Han River, I was surprised by a fact that my family's life has changed so much. Through the lens of photographer Ong Van Sinh, I can see works with clear focus, specific highlights from memory to the present that make me reverberate with so many memories”.

Nguyen Minh Thu, a student of the city-based private Dong A University said: "I came to the exhibition with a hope for understand more about the spectacular transformation of Da Nang through the photo series. Coming here, I met the previous generations and heard them tell many interesting stories about the city in the past. This does encourage me and other young people to keep in our mind that we have to make more contributions to the city’s development in the future”.

On display are 52 works that highlight Da Nang’s image in the past and at the present. In particular, the section ‘Da Nang in the past’ show the photographer’ perspective with the beautiful scenery on both banks of the Han River, along the coast of Da Nang Bay, some villages in Hoa Vang District and also in some urban areas in Hai Chau District.

The ‘Da Nang at the present’ section is panorama photos, and particularly, there is a comparison between the Da Nang then and now to realise the difference between the old and the new. In this part, the photographer’ lens focuses on the highlights of the urban landscape and landmark works that contribute to the renewal of the urban appearance and the bridges that have brought Da Nang the brand ‘the city of bridges’.

“I think memory is a part of life. Memories do not fade easily, especially for those who once lived in temporary shelters on the eastern bank of the Han River. Through the exhibition, I want viewers to have an overview, a general perspective to feel how Da Nang has changed over historical periods. With the hope that this set of photos is best preserved after the exhibition, I will donate 52 sets of photos printed on burlap canvas to the Da Nang Museum of Fine Arts, thereby contributing to enriching its exhibit collections", said Ong Van Sinh.

Photographer Ong Van Sinh was born in 1954, in Hoa Vang District, Da Nang. He was the former Standing Vice Chairman of the Da Nang Literary and Art Union, and the former Chairman of the Da Nang Art Photographers’ Association. He has participated in many national and international art photo contests.

Reporting by HUYNH TUONG VY - Translating by A.THU