To mark 50 years of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties, Italian photographer Fulvio Bugani has displayed his photos at an exhibition in Hanoi to showcase the beauty of Sicily. He shared with VIR’s Minh Khanh his passion and love of capturing historical and cultural relics.
You have been in Hanoi before. Has anything changed from your last visit?
One notable aspect that remains constant is the remarkable warmth and friendliness of the Vietnamese people. Their genuine hospitality and welcoming nature continue to leave a lasting impression.
Vietnam emerges as a land where the passage of time only serves to embellish its allure. Like chapters in a timeless novel, each visit to this captivating nation adds layers to the narrative, revealing that while some things transform, the heart of Vietnam remains an unwavering treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored anew.
Why did you choose Sicily for the exhibition, and are there any places in Vietnam that resemble features of Sicily?
The decision to centre my photography exhibition around Sicily was driven by a multitude of factors that converge to create a rich and resonant narrative. What truly makes Sicily special is its historical significance as a crossroads of civilisations. This infusion of diverse influences has rendered Sicily a unique cultural mosaic.
Sicily's charm lies in its ability to encapsulate centuries of human history within its landscapes, and traditions. By showcasing its architectural grandeur, its vibrant street life, and its scenic landscapes. The exhibition is a celebration of both Sicily's uniqueness and its universal resonances.
Drawing parallels between Sicily and Vietnam might seem unexpected, but it's fascinating to discover the subtle similarities that bridge these two seemingly distant worlds. Both regions boast coastlines of mesmerising beauty – Sicily's azure waters echo the enchanting beaches of Vietnam. The rugged landscapes of both locales resonate with one another, showcasing the harmonious dance between nature's elements.
Moreover, the contrast between Italy's north and south has clear parallels with the diversity found within Vietnam. Just as Italy's north embraces industrial development and cosmopolitanism, the south exudes a deep-rooted connection to tradition and a slower pace of life. This mirrors the dichotomy between the bustling urban centres and the serene countryside of Vietnam.
What is the message you want to send through your exhibition?
Carefully chosen among thousands of pictures, the 20 pictures brought to this exhibition are believed to boast my perception of Sicily’s reality in terms of religious matters, social problems, or simply just some nostalgic moments. In addition, as a man who believes that photography is a kind of language, I hope that my photos possess the power that can surge a person’s thoughts on what actually are revolving around.
At the same time, what interests me most about Vietnam is the daily lives of ordinary people. There are many people who are still struggling to put food on the table in this country. Nevertheless, in such workaday lives of those people spark something truly extraordinary that I adore and dying to capture to bring to light and give it the attention it deserves.
Do you have any upcoming projects to strengthen the diplomatic relationship between Italy and Vietnam?
I have been speaking to the Italian embassy about promoting an exchange programme between Italian and Vietnamese photographers with the intention of spreading the beauty of each country brought by the native photographers.
Besides that, the initiative will also give Italian photographers and Vietnamese photographers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique beauty of each country. As a result, they will bring back their hometown images of their visits, and then widely spread them as an act to amplify the closeness between two countries.
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