Vietnamese Photographer’s Nudes Overcome Social Barriers

Thai Phien working with his models

Thai Phien is an award-winning Vietnamese photographer who’s works have been exhibited in over 60 countries. Phien (his full name is Nguyen Thai Phien), was born in 1960 in Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam.

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Among his many works, Phien’s publication of Vietnam’s first nude art photography book, entitled Buoc Thoi Gian (Steps of Time), was met with controversy in his conservative homeland.

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However, overcoming the initial controversy, the work went on to receive the VAPA Cup from the Vietnam Photographic Artists’ Association. This marked the first time the association has bestowed the award on a photographer for a collection of nude photos.

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According to VAPA jury member Duy Anh, “With low key lighting and monochrome techniques, Phien shows women’s physical and spiritual beauty.”

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Phien has been taking nude photos for 22 years. When he won the honor, he said, “I thought of those who worked as my models. They are behind the success of my photos and have bravely defied social stigmas against nude modeling,”

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