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Timeless Vietnam, Canh Tang’s first book of photography, is a dazzling glimpse of an ancient culture that persists today much as it has for thousands of years. The motion and energy of life emanate from each shot. Colors interplay with form in photos of the silhouettes of fishermen on the shore against a pulsating sunrise. Detail meets simplicity in shots of skilled artisans chiseling intricate sculptures.
In this book you will find a new perspective on Vietnam as a place unaffected by strife and undiminished by modernism. The enduring acts of farming, fishing, trades and culture of this remarkable land come alive through its pages, providing insight into the core of the nation and the values of its people.
Complementing these extraordinary photos are translations of historic Vietnamese poetry that contextualize a land that has resisted imperial domination for thousands of years, forever retaining its unique character. The resilience and beauty of Vietnam and its peoples radiate through memory and serve as a testimony to what will survive.
Artists & critics agree that Timeless Vietnam is a masterpiece!
— Publishers Weekly
— Jan C. Scruggs, founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
— Quang Phu Van, lector in Vietnamese, Yale University
— Linn Dinh is a translator and poet whose new work, Love Like Hate, is a novel of contemporary Vietnam.
Crossing the Tam Giang Lagoon
—Lap An wood gatherers wade through lagoon to market their small fuel bundles, July, 2011.
A New Day
—A farmer takes his buffalo to feed on wild grass before their work begins, Quang Dien District, Thua Thien-Hue, March, 2010.
—Schoolchildren devote free hours to learning a family craft, the making of non la, the traditional hat, An Luu town, Thua Thien-Hue, 2005.
Timeless poetry complements Canh Tang's remarkable photographs:
The Fisherman Speaks
Beyond harm’s reach persist in your own sphere—
some streamor sea none covets or disputes.
Plying a paddle, row your river boat
and catch a livelihood fromdawn to dusk.
Weave your way through rivers’ zigs and zags,
with fishing line and rodmade of bamboo.
Befriend themoon by night, the wind by day—
sing a gay tune, enjoy a jar of wine.
Drift past where cranes resort, where oysters haunt.
In nature take delight, at ease and free,
The fish and shrimp, by Heaven sent, abound.
You eat your fill—for what else could you wish?
—from Duong Tu Ha Mau by Nguyen Dinh Chieu,
translated by Huynh Sanh Thong