Taking nude photography in order to retain a maiden beauty has become a new trend in the Vietnamese youth. Although there is some criticism about breaking the traditional culture of Vietnam. But with individual interest and openness tend integration of young people has brought a new art which is so much controversy in Vietnam

Still squeamish

The prospect of taking nude photos for a good cause has appealed to more than one model in Vietnam.

Two years ago, Mai Phuong Thuy (Miss Vietnam 2006) announced plans to auction a series of 100 nude photographs to raise money for children’s charities. Following broad public criticism, she demurred and the photos never materialized.

Since then, models all over the country have made similar announcements, but no one has followed through, until now.

Following their release, last week, Quyen’s images have drawn heavy traffic for a host of e-newspapers that have published her bold series. Rather than raise environmental awareness, many say that the images have drawn cynicism and derision.

Nguyen Duc, a graphic designer, argued that the work makes photographer To Thanh Nghiep, who took them, look bad.

“The glaring green forest and the impossibly slippery rock she’s perched on have caused people to question that they were taken in a real setting,” said Duc. “Some of my friends even wonder whether Quyen’s photos were shot [in a studio] on a green screen.”

Nghiep, who became famous for his fashion studio work, insists that the images are real and has even issued an open challenge to prove him wrong.

“I’ll give VND100 million to anyone who can produce evidence that my photos are fake,” said Nghiep.

Mai Thanh, a student, said that what she saw in most of the photos is Quyen’s naked body, with hands barely covering her bosoms.

In several online forums, commenters openly doubted that the photos of the 23-year-old model would do much for her image. Many readers also wondered at the connection between the images and her desire to protect the environment.

Quyen has responded to public criticism by saying that she just wants to do her small part to help the national and global conservation effort.

“Do not pay attention to me, just look at the gorgeous nature behind me,” she told Thanh Nien. “We can keep it stunning forever if we start to preserve it now. I wanted to do something that nobody had dared to do, something that would make a big splash.”

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