Sat, 20th Apr 2024 23:02 (GMT +7)

Vietnamese martial arts captured through the lenses of French photographer

Friday, 26/05/2023 | 15:01:41 [GMT +7] A  A

Indefatigable energy and sportsmanship of Vietnamese martial artists have been vividly captured by French photographer Philippe Marinig in his ongoing photo exhibition in Hanoi, under the theme ‘Grace and Strength’.

French photographer Philippe Marinig (R) introduces his photo to visitors at the exhibition (Photo:

The exhibition is held within the framework of the Photo Hanoi'23 - International Photography Biennale, which is co-hosted by the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports and the French Institute in Vietnam.

The 18 photos on display captured the grace and the strength of young Vietnamese martial artists when demonstrating their skills with traditional weaponry and martial postures.

All of the photos convey the spirit emanating from the quick and hasty actions of the characters, leaving deep impressions on the viewers.

This exhibition is a stage of restitution of a photographic residency programme that Marinig started in 2019 and continues to pursue, in preparation for a more accomplished exhibition to come, which will constitute a collection of images revealing strong and unexpected links between cultures and men that everything seems to oppose, imposing a universal reading of practices, preparatory rituals, pageantry, and gestures through their spiritual and cosmogonic dimensions.

Vietnamese athlete Duong Thanh Binh and Marinig’s photo capturing her training moment.

It is expected that in 2025, he will introduce to arts lovers in Hanoi the outcomes of the programme, showcasing martial arts from many countries such as Japan and Senegal.

For such a long time, traditional martial arts have been considered as the cultural heritage in Vietnam which has been practiced, fostered, and widely promoted throughout the national history.

It is the convergence of cultural quintessence values such as patriotism and chivalry of many generations of the Vietnamese people.

Sharing his thought about the exhibition, Le Ngoc Quang, General Secretary of the Vietnam Traditional Martial Arts Federation, expressed his delight that Vietnam's traditional martial arts have received great attention from international friends.

Delegates pose for a group photo at the opening ceremony of the exhibition (Photo:

The images displayed at the exhibition have impressively depicted the spirit, temperament and strength of Vietnamese martial artists, he stressed.

According to Quang, traditional Vietnamese martial arts has developing strongly within the country but also widely practiced in more than 60 countries and territories, attracting a large number of foreign practitioners.

He hailed that Marinig’s exhibition will help to promote traditional Vietnamese martial arts and Vietnamese cultural identity in general to the world.

During the exhibition’s inauguration ceremony, visitors had the opportunity to admire a demonstration by Vietnamese martial arts experts.

The exhibition will last until July 18 at French Institute in Vietnam, 15 Thien Quang Street, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi.

Philippe Marinig, 61, is a cross-cultural visual artist. He is not a sports photographer, but he is intrigued by the formal, aesthetic, and spiritual similarities of many martial arts.

Marinig is interested in seeking to understand the deep links that could exist between practices that seem a priori distant. Admiring his photos, visitors are captivated by the power released by the bodies, in these choreographies crystallised by the lens of the photographer. As he progresses in the observation of the works, the feeling grows that the true force of the subjects is suggested rather than shown.

In 2010, he won the SCAM Roger Pic Prize, which awards each year the author of a photographic portfolio (reportage, press photography, portraits).

Source: Nhan Dan