Inside look: Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum, Hoi An

This gallery in Hoi An is helping keep the culture of Vietnam’s fascinating tribes alive.

A project by French photographer Réhahn Croquevielle, the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum in Hoi An takes a never seen before look at Vietnam’s tribes and ethnic communities. Mostly a photography based exhibition, the gallery brings together portraits of individuals from some of Vietnam’s many tribes, collected over five years of the photographer’s exploration in the country.

Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum, Hoi An

The collection features candid portraits of 49 out of Vietnam’s 54 officially recognised ethnic groups. The photographer is currently working on gaining access to the remaining five tribes. Some of the groups are incredibly difficult to reach, with many only found in very remote regions, and some not used to communicating with people from outside their tribe. The photographer had to gain permission from tribal elders before being allowed to visit, and the process to gain trust and permission can be a long one.

Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum Hoi An

Each tribe in Vietnam is known for its specific style of dress and various cultural beliefs and rituals. Croquevielle’s photographs aim to capture as much of the tradition of the tribes as possible, with individuals often pictured wearing very vibrant traditional dress.

Some ethnic tribes even donated some artefacts to Croquevielle’s exhibition, weaving together people and culture within the gallery space. In an interview with South China Morning Post, Croquevielle talks about his interactions with Vietnam’s tribal people, from learning about the tradition of the M’nong tribe to marry elephants, to the tribal chief who visited the gallery in Hoi An to bring the last tree-bark costume from his village.

Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum, Hoi An

As well as photographic prints of the portraits displayed in the gallery, it’s also possible to buy a series of books by Croquevielle, with portraits and descriptions of Vietnam’s tribes. Many visitors to the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum describe it as being the perfect way to round off their Vietnam trip, particularly for those who visited the area around Sapa in the north of Vietnam and visited some of the tribal villages. Reviews on TripAdvisor describe it as being one of the best things to do in Hoi An, with some travellers saying it gave extra meaning to their trips.

Sapa in the north of Vietnam

Many visitors to Vietnam don’t get off-the-beaten-track to visit people and communities across the country. Those who do, however, never regret it. At Mr Linh’s Adventures, we have links with a number of traditional villages and tribes, where we can arrange homestay accommodation and immersive experiences too, such as in the three day Sapa adventure.

Visit the Precious Heritage Art Gallery Museum in Hoi An at 26 Phan Boi Chau between 8am and 8pm every day.
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