The historical day 30.4.1975 when Viet Nam was absolutely united, I was only 4 years old and had no notation of war. Grown up a little, I took notice that every occasion of memory the great national holidays I was met again legendary war commanders through books, newspapers, TV, listened them telling again their battle reminiscences.
And the faces of generals became familiar gradually in me. I’m curious to discover about their life at time of peace. How is war commander’s retirement life ? What is different with other normal person? How are their relations with family, friends, and considerations with present situation? What are their private hobbies, which they had not carry out in the wartime?
Project of photography “War commander at time of peace” is come out by that thought.
Choice is very difficult because how to choose the typical generals who contributed great in battle, and represented for many different arms. Next, to persuade generals so that they agreed to take a photo is very difficult because they wouldn’t like to appear in front of public opinion in normal life, avoiding unnecessary “criticism”, additionally, with Orient psychology that they are very afraid to take a photo at their own house. Furthermore, at retirement but generals are very busy when they take advantage of time to go to visit their friends, old battlefield, do charity and travel foreign country.
The commander used to say, remember and think about the past war. The past is glorious, is the sacrifice and the pain… But the generals are remembered as heroes. For now, they live quiet, somber as ordinary people and will gradually go into oblivion.
Q&A with Viet Van Tran
… is one part of my life.
Photography and writing…
… is one mutually buddy. The writing shed further light on the story behind the picture.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
It is difficult to talk about do. I learned a lot from the masters of photography in the world, but I also deeply admire the talents of contemporary photography. I think one artist always creative, refreshing himself with one steadfast and courageous on one particular path outlined by him.
Viet Van Tran, born in Ha Noi in 1971, was the first and only Vietnamese photographer to have portfolios collected by Win- Initiative (US), also was the first and only Vietnamese photographer to win the Prix de la Photographie, Paris Px3 → more