Humans of Hanoi, the popular spin off from the original project Humans of New York, is holding its first exhibition.

A simple concept, the exhibition is by turns surprising, moving and inspiring.

Through the Windows of Life, which opened on June 15, is expected to share many of the stories of people of Hanoi and invite viewers to become part of it.

"We hope to capture 1,000 photos by the end of this year. Each person and their story represents a colour in society," said Tran Quang Tuan, head of the Freely team which created the project.

"Seven million people here are seven million colours of different tones. When combined, they create a diversified picture of the city," said Tuan.

The non-profit photo project began late last year by a group of six young people, all born after 1990. Months of non-stop working has resulted in over 400 photos being made public through its Facebook page and now on display.

The exhibition will feature ordinary and modest moments in the life of Hanoi residents and those passers-by, including foreigners.

More than 100 colour photos are hung in the open space and on the walls along the pathway inside the Chula Fashion House, not only creating a very interesting and eye-catching view for the exhibition's visitors, but providing an insight into those they feature: a cycle rider at Hoan Kiem Lake, a scrap-iron dealer, a foreigner who travels to Vietnam twice a year simply because of a love for Hanoi, a young girl who always challenges herself, among many others.

"First of all, I'm impressed with the overall quality of the exhibition and the way it is displayed, very original and artistic," said Alberto Lopez, a tourist from Spain.

"I like the concept of displaying the lives of normal people in Hanoi, along with the stories. It's every interesting," added Lopez, who has travelled throughout Vietnam for five months and been in the capital city for three months.

"Every day I discover new things about the city, so this whole exhibition points to that. We can find interesting people everywhere.

"Reading the text from photos, I learn about different views from different generations of people and know that the view about the city and life of old people is different from that of young generations. I can find parallel stories between old and young generations in Spain."

"Months ago when they came to talk to me, I just thought Humans of Hanoi would be something for fun, not something serious. I did agree to talk about my individual stories, because I also like to talk to stranger," recalled Doan Manh, one of the characters displayed in the exhibit.

"Then I witnessed that they developed gradually and gained certain successes. I do like the way they explore individuals and I see that the project has considerable impact on our society," the 27-year-old freelancer said.

"Many Vietnamese used to hesitate to talk and share their stories, so the photo project will help break down that invisible wall and let people become much more open."

The exhibit will continue until July 15.-VNA