Vietnamese pagodas through lens of French photographer hinh anh 1Artworks from the photo book “Vietnam Pagodas” by French photographer Nicolas Cornet will be exhibited at L’Espace in Hanoi from November 9 to December 31. (Photo: Hanoi Grapevine)

Hanoi (VNA)Artworks from a photo book on pagodas in Vietnam by French photographer and journalist Nicolas Cornet will be exhibited at L’Espace in downtown Hanoi from November 9 to December 31.

Through the exhibition “Vietnam Pagodas,” Cornet wants to show the beauty of Vietnamese culture and to help culture lovers be aware that pagodas are part of the country’s cultural heritages.

He expects the awareness will help make use of technology and international expertise in preserving these heritages.

The photographer released the photo book of the same title in Ho Chi Minh City in June.

The 250-page book “Vietnam Pagodas” in English and French includes hundreds of photos of 31 pagodas and temples taken over the last three years.

Cornet began his journey from northern to southern Vietnam in 2014 to discover the country’s major pagodas, temples and places of worship.

He took more than 20,000 pictures, and visited nearly 100 pagodas and temples.

“I decided to make the book to show the beautiful heritage of Vietnam’s pagodas, and to allow the next generation to remember this heritage. I wanted my children, whose mother was Vietnamese, as well as my Vietnamese friends’ children, to be able to have memories about that,” said Cornet.

Published by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Publishing House, the book consists of five chapters, featuring traditional pagoda architecture, artistic details, daily life of monks and people gathering for worship and ceremonies.

The first and second chapters are about the beginning of Buddhism in Vietnam and its old pagodas and temples in the north. The third chapter focuses on Hue and the central region. Hue is considered a Buddhism centre in Vietnam.

The fourth chapter introduces pagodas and Chinese temples in HCM City, and the last chapter highlights Khmer pagodas in the Mekong Delta.

Cornet has been dividing his time between Europe and Asia for more than 30 years. He has collaborated with major European newspapers and magazines such as L’Espresso, Mare and Le Monde, and film crews and TV documentaries.

Cornet has published six photo books on Vietnam and South East Asia and plans to release a new book on Vietnamese cuisine next year.

As an art director and curator, Cornet has held photo exhibitions and events in France, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.–VNA