Architect Doan Bac began collecting old pictures of Hanoi while making modifications to his home. He has never been much of a photographer, and this was his first foray into photo collecting. He was just looking for building ideas. He soon discovered that most of the pictures had been categorized in French; Bac only spoke English. The young man turned to his father, a history teacher and French-speaker named Doan Thinh. Soon the project became about much more than Bac’s house. Over a two-year period, Bac scoured the Internet for antique photos of the capital city. Together, the pair amassed a trove of more than 3,000 pictures taken between 1830 and 1954. Some were found in unlikely chat rooms and message boards. Others were collected from neighbors. Some were sent in from friends living in the US, France, and UK. In honor of the upcoming Thang Long anniversary – and as a gift to his father – Bac will present 1,820 of the images in an exhibition entitled Ky uc Ha Noi xua (Old memories of Hanoi) in Ho Chi Minh City in late August and in Hanoi during the first two weeks of September. A global effort In a…
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