Snap decisions: Collecting photography

Someone recently asked me: “Are photographic prints collectable? Can collecting photography be an investment the same way as art?”

My answer is absolutely! And right now is a very good time to start collecting, right here in Vietnam.

Across the world, 19th, 20th and 21st century photography have occasionally sold for millions of dollars at Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction rooms, and interesting prints regularly sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now it’s considered to be a very exciting time to invest in Fine Art photography because it’s still new. There was a time when Impressionist, Cubist and Expressionist paintings were considered to be offensive and not to be taken seriously but now the works of artists who experimented with these intellectual ideas are amongst the most collectible and expensive in the world.

Which photography or photographer to collect? As with any form of art, choose the subject you enjoy, whether it’s landscapes, black and whites, social commentaries, portraits or a time period. Read about the famous and not-so-famous artists and look online for galleries and websites that sell them. The same as with artists, you should ask about their biography, what their background is, where they work, what kind of photography they specialize in, where they have exhibited and where their works have been published. The more that a photographer is recognized by their peers for the work they do, the more collectable it is likely to become.

You should find out if the image is from a limited edition and how big the edition is. Does the image belong to a particular collection or body of work? What kind of paper or other surface has the image been printed on? How do you look after it? Will you receive a certificate of authenticity signed by the photographer? The smaller the edition, the better the quality or rarity of the paper and the larger the image, the more expensive and more collectable it is likely to be.

In Vietnam, today, there are many professional photographers producing excellent work in their different genres. Some are known for their landscapes, portraits, urban scenes and some for their study of everyday life. However, most earn their income from teaching, wedding and commercial photography or photographic tours; few concentrate on making a living solely from their own photographic projects.

There are some, however, whose work is recognized internationally. The acclaimed Long Thanh has a gallery in Nha Trang where his images can be seen in black and white. Art Vietnam Gallery in Hanoi has shown the work of French photographer Sebastien Laval and Vietnamese artist Phan Quang’s photographs were exhibited as part of his installation project at San Art in Saigon.

French photographer Rehahn now lives and works in Vietnam. His work about people, customs and costume can be seen at his gallery in Hoi An and his Saigon debut exhibition will be held next month at VinGallery in District 2. The buzz is that there will be one huge photograph on exhibition for US$10,000. Number one of a limited edition of only three, it is printed on Kodak Endura metallic paper which, apparently, has to be seen to be believed.

When the young, well-educated Vietnamese start to take a greater interest in their own cultural heritage and wake up to the fact that it is being undervalued by their parents’ generation, the works of the photographers and artists who captured its passing will take on new meaning and acquire greater value.

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

How to Create a Vietnamese Style Wall with a Wallpaper

With its dynamic range of colors, styles, and motifs, Asian culture has long profoundly impacted interior design. The influence of Far Eastern culture is evident in the appearance of all things Japanese and Chinese, from cherry blossoms to pagodas to koi fish. Even so, one part of Asia has left little impression on Western designers:

Read More »

Is 3D Pen Good for Children?

Children are curious by nature. Being as well really creative and imaginative, they would like to explore the globe. Build up stuff. Playing with colorful things can open their visions. 3d pen is, as precisely represented, a game-changer. It appears like every day pens with just a couple of changes. How does it benefit the

Read More »

5 Benefits Of Hiring Experts For Car Ceramic Coating

Sydney is one of the most highly populated places in Australia. Around 38 per cent of the people here own a car. If you’re like other people, you take pride in your vehicle. You wash and wax it often and keep it looking as good as possible. But even with all of your efforts, sometimes

Read More »

6 Unique Uses For Your Pillow Cover

How you use your pillow cover can be just as important as the actual pillow itself when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Whether you’re trying to eliminate bedbugs, adjust the temperature in your room, or just want to spruce up your bedroom, there are plenty of options for making your pillow cover

Read More »

What is a magnetic screen door?

Are you tired of slamming screen doors closed at night and having to hold it open during hot summer days? If so, your search for an easy solution has come to an end! A magnetic screen door can be a fun and convenient way to enjoy fresh air without having to leave your doors open,

Read More »