October 16, 2018
The Precious Heritage Museum, Hoi An
Réhahn is a photographer from Normandy, France who has been based in Hoi An since 2011. He is particularly renowned for his portraits of people in Viet Nam, Cuba and India. He collaborates with National Geographic and Travel Live on a regular basis for the purchase of his photographs. Numerous articles have also been published in the international media, such as the BBC, the Daily Mail, Los Angeles Times, Foto Digital, Travel Live, Conde Nast Traveler, Elle, Paris Match, Marie-Claire, Esquire, and Geo, totalling more than 500 articles and interviews during these last 3 years (which also includes 40 television appearances on the national Vietnamese tv channels).
Réhahn has preserved a significant part of Viet Nam’s history by unveiling The Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum, a place to explore Viet Nam’s ethnic heritage. Opened on the 1st January 2017 in an old colonial house in the tranquil French Quarter of Hoi An, the museum is the culmination of 5 years of Réhahn’s continuing exploration of Viet Nam’s 54 ethnic minority groups.
The 250m2 art space is home to more than 30 authentic traditional costumes, 200 photographs, many precious artifacts presented to him by the various groups, and stories translated into French, English and Vietnamese.
Some of the interesting features on display are:
- One of only 5 complete costumes left from the smallest ethnic group, gifted by the chief of the village for preservation in the museum.
- Photos of a never before seen ethnic group which is inaccessible to tourists. Réhahn waited 3 years for permission to visit them.
- Some priceless ethnic shoes which are no longer in common use.
- Jewellery and artifacts, some of which were special gifts from village chiefs.
- Revelations about some cultural secrets sewn into the costumes.
The museum is a multi-dimensional experience with videos, music, photos, and the last vestiges of some of these groups.
The purpose of the gallery museum is for visitors to experience and retrace the photographer’s steps, unveiling some of the mysteries that this country has to offer. Having already met 45 of the 54 ethnic groups, Réhahn’s mission is to bring them closer. According to him, the more he discovers about Viet Nam, the more he discovers a cultural heritage beyond imagination. By picking up a bit of the language and travelling by motorbike, he’s managed to visit these groups, and he has come to realise that some of their numbers and traditions are dwindling fast.
Address: 26 Phan Boi Chau, Hoi An