Chris Song, period 7
Re?hahn was born on May 4, 1979 in Bayeux in Normandy, France. He is currently 38
years old. Although I have researched Re?hahn, maybe not extensively but a good amount, he
does not have any other name besides Re?hahn, as if it is a mononym given at birth. I could not if
he had a surname or any other name, which I found particularly interesting. He is based in Hoi
An, Vietnam which he made his home in 2011. Re?hahn is very focused on representing and
enlightening the public of many different cultures, mainly focusing on portraits of cultures in
Vietnam, Cuba and India. He takes his time and invests himself into the people and it genuinely
shows through his photography. Having met 45 of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, he is now intent
on completing the project. After visiting and experiencing countries’ cultural heritages, he has
witnessed firsthand the complex diversity and fragility of some these heritages. He collaborates
with National Geographic, BBC, and Travel Live on a regular basis.
What concerned Re?hahn the most was the fragility of many of the cultures he had
experienced. In a world so consumed by modern technology, traditional costumes, dialects, rites
and ancestral knowledge is slowly disappearing, becoming a thing of the past. Through his
“Precious Heritage” project, he was able to open the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum
which documents many of the tribes in Vietnam on January 1, 2017.
In an effort to show that he truly cares about the subjects he takes so many photos of, he
established the “Giving Back” Project, whose aim is to make the living conditions of his subjects
better. He currently supports education of some the children in his photos, and has even offered a
new rowing boat to Madam Yong so she can keep touring tourists around. He hopes that this
movement can inspire fellow photographers to do the same, as “photographers are nothing
without the people in their photos”.
He has been criticized for exoticising Vietnam’s culture as a lot of is staged. He has
asked the subjects in the photos to wear their traditional clothing and perform “stereotypical”
poses such as working in rice paddies or pray to an animal. While it can come off as a bit
artificial, I personally do not see a problem with that because he is doing it in efforts to inform
people and preserve the culture, as in the future, that kind of clothing may not be made at all.
Title: “Best Friends”
This photograph of a 6 year old girl praying to an elephant is one of Re?hahn’s more renowned
works and was published is more than 25 countries and has made the cover of several prestigious
magazines. I like this photo because of the subject matter primarily—you cannot see a scene like
on a regular basis if you are not a M’nong people. It comes off as endearing and innocent.
living on top of the lake and because of the bright, almost overly saturated colors. Even though it
Title: “Tra Su Forest”
I like this photo because of the interesting perspective and close proximity to the vegetation does
not follow the rule of thirds, placing the subject matter of the woman rowing in a traditional boat
was the better choice.
Title: Bajau Girl
Through this photo, one can assume that the face paint is a part of the culture in Borneo,
Malaysia which is very interesting. I like how he put the photo in black and white so the
audience can completely focus on the face paint which is the purpose of the photo.
Title: Bajau Girl
I love the photo because of the detail and color of the ocean. Placing a little girl in a traditional
canoe in the ocean makes the photo seem very tranquil, calming and innocent. One can assume
that spending time on boats is very much a part of their culture and is something children enjoy
I love this photo because of how smooth and how much the water looks like green silk. The
small ripples and mostly undisturbed water really does send a message of tranquility. The person
in the boat is not placed directly in the center and is on the left ever so slightly which makes the
photo more interesting in my opinion. This might be a favorite photo out of all of the ones he has
Title: Street of Hoi An
I love the warm, golden tone of yellow that takes up most of the photo. Brightly colored
buildings are not a common sight in Houston or even in most of America. The subject matter is
just riding a bike alongside the river and the overall tone of the photo is so relaxing. The
reflection in the water is also what makes the photo so interesting.