The International Biennale Photo Hanoi'23 attracted 170,000 visitors who came for exhibitions and other activities during the month-long art shows held for the first time in Hanoi.
Notably, more than 200 articles and programs mentioned the event while social media posts earned nearly 5 million views on Photo Hanoi networks alone. Additionally, more than 5,000 posts with #photohanoi hashtags were sent on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok.
These are the statistics announced by the French Ambassador to Vietnam, Nicolas Warnery who confirmed the success of the first Photo Hanoi'23.
Chance to explore local photography
The French Ambassador affirmed that the event contributes to the professionalization of the entire creative ecosystem and promotes the capital's economic development through participation in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network (UCCN). Hanoi has a well-defined goal to create a dignified place to build culture as a tool for economic development, tourism, and international exchange.
|Photo Hanoi’23 provides a rare opportunity for international photographers to exchange. Photo: IFV|
"We may not have fully appreciated the impact of this event on Hanoi. However, it can be seen that many cities around the world have seized the opportunity to use activities such as the Biennale to create the impetus for the development of culture and art and become a prominent international destination," the French ambassador said.
Famous French photographer Sebastien Laval, who has been working in Vietnam since the 1990s and has also taken many great photos of Hanoi, said Photo Hanoi'23 is a rare opportunity for international photographers to exchange. For the public, it is a chance to explore the work of photo artists worldwide with different shooting styles and techniques.
"At this festival, we share photos of Hanoi that are very different in time, light, and personal sensibility. Photography is shaped by light. It makes us question our relationship with time and space. The images of Hanoi in this festival are unique and very special," said Laval.
According to curator and photographer Nguyen The Son, the exhibitions at this biennale are presented according to the standards of galleries and museums around the world today but are still very inadequate in Vietnam.
"This is an excellent opportunity for professional art photography practitioners because, through Photo Hanoi'23, we are inviting photography lovers to see how artistic photography is," Son said.
He expects people to have new perspectives and a diversified approach to photography. On the other hand, Photo Hanoi'23 also contributed to improving the photo printing industry and the photo frame and paper business.
Preparing for the next version
Regarding the organization, the French Ambassador said that the active participation of international partners and local actors shows that Photo Hanoi'23 is on the right track.
Art and cultural events like this need coordination between Government agencies, both central and local, to mobilize resources to organize the event. For that reason, Ambassador Warnery called for the long-term support of domestic and international partners for the event, both in terms of finance and technology.
|Ambassador Nicolas Warnery says that Photo Hanoi'23 is successful. Photo: IFV|
Ambassador Nicolas Warnery proposed a mechanism to support and motivate creative factors such as artists, gallery owners, exhibition spaces, researchers, curators, and art critics, who hold the key to the success of Photo Hanoi'23.
"Creative people will bring prestige to the event and create indispensable links with the international community. We must give them a central position in the event, motivate and support them," stressed the Ambassador.
He also highly appreciated the responsibility and determination of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports in participating in this year's event and preparing the version of Photo Hanoi'25.
At the closing ceremony, Do Dinh Hong, Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports, said 22 exhibitions and nearly 20 side events were held in seven districts of Hanoi, attracting about 170,000 visitors to the exhibition and 10,000 people to the face-to-face and online seminars.
|Do Dinh Hong, Director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports speaks at the closing ceremony. Photo: IFV|
"The event took place on schedule and had left impressions on the audience and public in the capital," said Do Dinh Hong.
Hong said the city is committed to successfully implementing cultural initiatives and projects under UNESCO's Creative Cities Network, promoting international cooperation and cultural integration.
The lessons learned from this first edition will be studied and promoted to make the next edition more effective.
The great success of Photo Hanoi'23 in terms of art and media will be the basis for establishing more partnerships and enhancing the event's image in the region and the world. Also, the event could be one of the highlights to promote Hanoi as a tourist destination.