Art Vietnam Gallery

7 Nguyen Khac Nhu
Hanoi, Vietnam

Artist Profile: Catherine Karnow


Catherine Karnow was born and grew up in Hong Kong in the 1960s. Her father, the acclaimed journalist Stanley Karnow, was the bureau chief for Time-Life and then foreign correspondent for The Washington Post. An astute observer of the shifting tides in China, he also reported requently from Vietnam, as well as elsewhere in Asia. He was the author of the seminal book
and Emmy award-winning documentary on the country, Vietnam: A History, which together changed the way America regarded the war.

Catherine started shooting in Vietnam in 1990, and has returned numerous times, both on assignment and for personal projects. “My knowledge and love of the country is profound. It is an utterly fascinating place, impossible to fully grasp, and always seductive in its mystery.”
In Vietnam, Catherine is well known partly because of her friendship with the late General Giáp, the mastermind of the battle of Điện Biên Phủ. In 1994, she was the only foreign journalist to accompany him privately to Điện Biên Phủ and in 2013 she had the immeasurable honor of joining the family on the funeral procession to General Giáp’s home village of Quảng B́nh.
At each juncture in her work in Vietnam she has formed relationships, often lasting friendships, with the subjects of her photographs, which portray not only the transformation of the country but also of the photographer herself, seemingly fulfilling her preordained soulful connection to the land.

In May 2014, a Talk Vietnamdocumentary on Catherine was viewed by over nine million people
worldwide. Catherine Karnow is a National Geographic photographer based in San Francisco. She shoots magazine assignments all over the world as well as social documentary work, specifically Agent Orange in Vietnam. She is also a highly regarded teacher who gives presentations and signature photo workshops worldwide.

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