The photograph titled "The Highest Peak in Southern Vietnam," capturing the statue of Buddha Mother Bodhisattva on Mount Black Lady (Bà Đen), Tây Ninh, has been awarded the National Prize and the Sony World Photography Awards 2024.
This exceptional piece triumphed over 415,000 submissions from over 74,000 photographers representing more than 206 countries worldwide to become Vietnam's sole representative on Sony's prestigious list.
Notably, the image of Mount Black Lady is positioned at the top of the list on the award's website. The artwork is set to be exhibited at Somerset House, London, UK, in April later this year.
"The Highest Peak in Southern Vietnam" was captured by photographer Trần Tuấn Việt during a dawn session in October 2023 on Mount Black Lady, Tây Ninh. The photograph captures the moment when the statue of Buddha Mother Bodhisattva emerges amidst clouds and early sunlight, harmonizing with the beautiful natural scenery of the mountain, creating a mystical and serene landscape.
Mount Black Lady, dubbed as the "Roof of Southern Vietnam," is also a sacred site associated with the legend of Linh Sơn Holy Mother, attracting millions of pilgrims and visitors annually.
Renowned for its modern cable car system and the magnificent spiritual complex connecting the spiritual energy with the Bà Temple nestled halfway up the mountain.
The monumental statues of Buddha Mother Bodhisattva and Bodhisattva Di Lặc, crafted from 6,688 pieces of reddish-brown granite, further enhance the sacred beauty and natural richness of the region. This contributes to Mount Black Lady becoming an endless source of inspiration for the photography community.
The Buddha Mother Bodhisattva statue depicted in the artwork stands at a height of 72 meters, cast from over 170 tons of red bronze, establishing the record for the "Tallest Bronze Buddha Statue in Asia atop a mountain peak."
The photographer's black and white image also received the Honorable Mention in the 2023 International Monochrome Photography Contest, in the Nature category for Professional Photographers.
Reflecting on his experience, Trần Tuấn Việt vividly recalls the sensation of sitting amidst enveloping clouds, listening to the peaceful echoes of Buddhist chants atop Mount Black Lady.
"I perhaps have never been fortunate enough to create in such a space, where clouds envelop the mountain peak, limiting visibility to just a few meters below, yet through the flycam, I witnessed a truly astonishing sight as the Buddha Mother statue emerged amidst the clouds like a gentle flowing stream," he remarked.
For him, photography entails not just technical skill but also luck. "I believe I've been blessed and fortunate to capture the beauty of this land," shared Trần Tuấn Việt.
The Sony World Photography Awards, organized by the World Photography Organization, has been internationally recognized as one of the most significant events in the global photography calendar for the past 11 years.
This award amplifies the global voice of photography, offering profound insights into contemporary imagery. Whether emerging photographers or established artists, the award provides an opportunity to showcase their work to the world.
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