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War Commander at time of peace

Lieutenant General Pham Xuan The , former Commander of Military Zone I . He is holding up photographs capture moments him was in the room to read the arrest warrant for President Duong Van Minh on historic day, 30.4.1975.

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.

Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Tinh , former Member of Central Party Term IX , Vice Admiral . He kept very careful of wartime memorabilia.
Major-General Nguyen Duc Huy , former Commander of Military Zone 2. In the book titled “Valleys Vests II- an oral history” by author William L. Adam (American), in interview of General Huy, the author kept word “Sophisticated” said about him.
Major General Do Quoc An, former Commander Corps Artillery . He has repeatedly faced death in the war. He always was obsessed about the dead comrades.
Major General Do Van Phuc, former: Vietnam Military attaché in the Soviet Union, director of the Office of the Air Defense Command Air Force. He is very discreet and less revealing about yourself. This is one image that I have to convince him to agree very much.
Major General Nguyen Van Minh, former associate division 314 infantry. Lieutenant. According to him, everyone is afraid of being killed in war but to pass it to fight enemies.
General Nguyen Quoc Thuoc, member of the Party Central VI, former commander of the military zone 4, deputies Vietnam VIII IX X. During the war, he went away to beat the enemy, his wife at home parenting adult. When the war ended, he went home and care for his wife. The wife was sick over 10 years.
Lieutenant General Nguyen Duc Soat, former Vice-Commander-in chief of Vietnamese People’s Army . Every morning, he used to watch the news on the internet. He also always found articles written about him during the war.

Q&A with Viet Van Tran

Photography is…
… 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.

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Viet Van Tran

Viet Van Tran was born 1971 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam and received a Cultural Bachelor degree from Ha Noi Cultural University in 1996.… More »

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