Nude art and nude photos have gone from paintings, photos and sculpture to streets and squares through installation exhibitionsin Western countries. However, nude artworks are cautiously introduced in Vietnam.
Nude photos can be very artistic. This art form is recognized as having come into existence in 1831, and it was well received by the Western public.
The people in these photos appear to think that being photographed in the nude is quite normal. It is a very different story here in Vietnam where people are so self-conscious. To look at a nude photo is something dirty and wrong, and taking nude photos would be something on the far side of bad.
In 2004, the Vietnam Photographers Association for the first time presented the B Prize to Le Quang Chau from Hanoi for his nude photo entitled "Harmony." (In Vietnam, the B Prize goes to the second best photos at the annual photo competition). Is it possible that the recognition of this photo will promise a bright future for this form of art in Vietnam?
Photographer Nguyen Thai Phien, who has won an international prize for a nude photo he took, looks forward to the day, hoping it will be in his lifetime, when nude photography, an art form recognized around the world, will be tolerated and even appreciated by the Vietnamese people.
The power, though not wisdom, of public opinion
In Vietnam, both the photographers and the girls in nude photos are looked upon as people of low morals. Phien said, "It’s probably the common view that nude photography and nude photos are something that does not fit alongside the traditional customs of Vietnamese people. But from an aesthetic point of view, it is a higher quality of human beings that can discover and enhance beauty. Photographers seek to create photos, sometimes nude photos, which have within them reality, soul and artistic beauty.
Photographers have complained that Vietnam has no laws or regulations that apply to nude photos or nude photography. Photographers do not know where they stand when taking nude photos.
Meanwhile, the nude photos taken by Marina Cox, a photographer from Belgium, and those taken by Jaschi Klein and C. Marek from Germany impress millions of hearts all over the world.
Art lovers hope and expect that some day there will be a nude photo show in Vietnam. Nobody has any idea when such a day will come. The author of this piece believes that beauty is eternal, and it is for each of us to open our mind and eyes and appreciate the world around us.