Urbanist Hanoi

BackHeritage » Vietnam » [Photos] An Exploration Into Vietnam's History Through Black-and-White Portraiture

[Photos] An Exploration Into Vietnam's History Through Black-and-White Portraiture

From inside aristocratic mansions to the austere fields of rural Vietnam, black-and-white portraiture has never looked so filled with life and stories.

While not much is known about the snapper of these fantastic shots, Michel Huet, the appearance of his work in the now-defunct Life Magazine shows that Huet was commissioned to visit Vietnam numerous times during the 1940s. Most shots in the collection below were taken in 1947 when the country was still under French occupation.

From the look of his work, it’s apparent that Huet had a way with people: his subjects, no matter what they were doing at the time — shopping for socks, playing with lily pads or taking refuge from the sun — come across as interesting, multi-faceted individuals that are contemplative, fun-loving, mysterious, cheeky and conscientious. The way Huet played with shadows was also ingenious, circumventing the limited tones of the medium with ease to produce different, but equally inviting works.

Have a glimpse into our ancestors’ life in the 40s through the photos below:

[Photos via Flickr user manhhai]

Related Articles:

- [Photos] A Sepia-Toned Glimpse Into China's Last Dynasty

- [Photos] 18 Rare Photos of Northern and Central Vietnam in the Late 19th Century

- [Photos] The Children of 1967 Vietnam

Related Articles

in Vietnam

A Meandering Photographic History of the Red River and Long Bien Bridge

Upon its completion in 1902, Hanoi’s Long Bien Bridge was the second-longest of its kind in the world — it was only a few hundred meters shorter than Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. 

in Vietnam

A Rare Look Inside the Hue Imperial Court in 1895 in Watercolor

'La cour de Hue' (The court of Hue) is a series of painting done by Nguyen Van Nhan in 1895, during the reign of Thanh Thai, emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty at the time.

in Vietnam

An Ancestral History of Northern Vietnam’s Railway Construction

We often see archival images of old Hanoi, but these photos are different - they are personal. The following shots, which come from a collection of five photo albums, are the only surviving record of ...

in Vietnam

New Proposals Suggest Repairing or Replacing Nam Dinh Cathedral With Replica

Back in May, a renovation plan to replace Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province with a newly built replica angered the public.

in Vietnam

Thong Nhat to Stop Producing Iconic Matchbox Brand Starting Next Year

Founded in 1956, Thong Nhat was one of the first factories built in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

in Vietnam

[Illustrations] Everyday Life in 1923 Northern Vietnam Through 10 Rare Sketches

It was a simpler time in Vietnam 100 years ago — just people going about their life without a single phone in sight.