Known for its exhibitions promoting cultures from around the world, the Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum is hosting an exhibition of Vietnamese chess sets and photos taken in the country by Murat Beryürek this month in Ankara.
The Gökyay Foundation Chess Museum, which introduces people in Ankara to a different country every month, will feature Vietnam this month. The "A Comment on National Cultures through Chess and Photographs" event at the museum is currently open to visitors. The foundation works hard to provide fresh takes on cultures and art in the capital and continues to introduce diverse cultures through collections of photos in collaboration with the Ankara Photographers Association (AFSAD). Museum founder Akın Gökyay said the chess sets on display at the museum reflect the culture and history of Vietnam. "Vietnam has an impressive history. When you study Vietnam's chess sets in our museum, you can trace their extensive history. Photos taken by Murat Beryürek in the country are also on display at the museum. We created a beautiful collection of photography with help from the artist himself," Gökyay continued.
Country of philosophy, happiness, hope
Expecting to see more emotional traces from the war when he visited Vietnam, AFSAD member Murat Berkyürek said he actually found the opposite to be true. "Vietnam is a resilient country. Before visiting it, I thought I would see traces of the war and unhappy, tired people there. It is a poor country whose economy still isn't very good. However, the people of the country are happy, sincere and sympathetic despite all of these negative factors. The country, which has been tormented by colonization and wars for centuries, has been independent and peaceful for 30 years. In Vietnam, people don't place much importance on material things. The only thing that is important is to be ourselves."
"The Vietnamese are happy with abstract values instead of concrete, material things. Despite the heavy traffic, there is no disrespect or disturbances in their streets. They manage everything with simple techniques. For example, there are vast rice fields. They conduct agriculture with primitive techniques, yet create refined cuisine," the photographer added.
While speaking about his photos at the museum, he said: "I focused on people and people's lives while taking photos of Vietnam. Their daily lives are dynamic, and they are always in a rush. They continuously move, and the country is very crowded. There are different ethnic groups. This attracted my attention. There are many different religions, and they respect each other. Vietnam is a country of philosophy, happiness, hope and resilience for me."
Remarking on his collection, Berkyürek said he tried to present Vietnam from his perspective. "They can see the details that caught my attention in the country in these photos. Photos are like the chess sets. They both reflect the traces of the country. We hope everyone comes to see this Vietnamese journey at the museum."
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