Rural photographer with more than 700 awards


Coming to photographer very late--but over the past 15 years, photographer Dao Tien Dat in Binh Dinh province has won over 700 national and international awards for photos of humanity and the fates.


Photographer Dao Tien Dat.

Born in Phu My District, Binh Dinh Province, the boy Dao Ngoc Xung (Dao Tien Dat) grew up with fields and did many jobs to earn his living.

In 1980, Dat decided to leave his home to go to the city of Quy Nhon. Then consecutive misfortunes struck Dat while his parents passed away one by one, leaving him in the terrible mood. He realized that the human existence is too fragile.

But during that frustrating time, he accidentally read an article about the life imbued with humanistic aspects of photographer Lewis W. Hine, an American photographer – who broke into factories to reflect the exploitation of child labor. "That article motivated me and urged me to come to photography at the age of 42. I decided to buy an old camera and started shooting," he said.

In July 1998, he traveled to Kon Tum in the Central Highlands to take his first photos. In that 3-day trip, he grasped many photos of the life of local people.

In 2002, in his first visit to Hoa Thang in Binh Thuan province, the curves of sand on the vast sand dunes in morning light enchanted him. Incidentally, he discovered two women walking up the sand dunes with bamboo frames on their shoulders. So the "Turning Point" was born in a moment of emotion. Two years later, this picture won the gold medal at an international photo contest held in Manila (the Philippines). In the consecutive years, this picture has earned 33 international awards.

In 2005, during a visit to Cho Lau Town, Bac Binh District, Binh Thuan Province, he bumped into Mrs. Tam, an elderly woman with white hair falling to the ankles. He named the photo of Mrs. Tam as "Time", which then won the grand prize in an international photography competition in Italy. In 2006, he returned to Cho Lau to take the photo "Dream of Lifetime."

This work won many international awards, including the first prize of the Pictorial Print of the Year of the American Photography Association, Photo of the Year medal in Germany, two gold medals.


Hundreds of national and international medals and awards of artist Dao Tien Dat

"Through this picture, I wish to share the greatest dream of human - the wish of immortality. Yet the law of nature is harsh so it is only a dream," said Dat.

Once he saw a funeral on the sand dunes, silently followed by a dog. The work "Return to Dust" was made and brought him 13 awards including the Gold Medal of the Best of Asia contest in 2006.

In the past 15 years with photography, Dat has won over 700 awards, including 667 international awards. He was appointed many prestigious titles, such as E.VAPA, E.FIAP/b, SAWIEP, Hon EPSM, RISF2, Hon.FtGM...

In 2010, he was honored by the American Photography Association as the No. 1 for black and white photos and small-sized color photos in the Top Overseas PSA Who's Who in Photography.

Dat is now a member of the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Photographic Artists, Head of the Photographic Artists Branch of the Vietnam Photographic Artists in Binh Dinh province. He was invited as jury member of many local and international photography competitions.

Noting Dat’s dedication throughout many years, Binh Dinh authorities have awarded the A prize of the Dao Tan - Xuan Dieu Arts & Literature Prize for Dat.

The international award-winning photographs by Dao Tien Dat:


"Turning Point"

"Return to Dust"

"SOS 2" wins the Best Creative Print of the American Photography Association in 2010.

"In Cold Dew" wins the Best Award for Scenery Photos in the US in 2011.

"Dream of Lifetime"


"Friend 2"
“Mandarin Faces”

"Harvest Salt"

"Two in One"


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