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Monday, January 21, 2013

Ho Chi Minh City- the Far-East Pearl

"Make contact with the masses to awaken, organize, unite and train them, and lead them to fight for freedom and independence." Ho Chi Minh wrote to his fellow communists. He was born Nguyen Sinh Cung, and later change his name to Ho Chi Minh resemble the Bringer of Light.

His posthumous reputation from his struggle for independence against France, then against the United States' involvement. He had been the heart and soul of Vietnamese communism during the earliest day of movement. "Ho, ho, Ho Chi Minh" was the chant of radicals in the 70s.

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city of Vietnam. Upon the victory of communist war in 1975, Vietnam was turn into a communist state with the South overtaken, on 2nd July 1976, Saigon was officially renamed as Ho Chi Minh City in honor of Ho Chi Minh, the pre-eminent North-Vietnamese Leader and spiritual leader of Vietnamese Revolutionary. Today, HCMC is home to what more than 9 millions people, making it the most populous metropolitan area!

++ Shot with film Nikon FE + Nikkor 50mm f1.2 on Kodak Portra 400 & Fujifilm Superia 200 ++ 

a railway track run between Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City

Houses in Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market

Fruits dealer on wheels, Ben Thanh Market.

Street of Ho Chi Minh City.

There are probably 4-5 millions of motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh City alone.
That is a incredible number for the 9 millions population. 

Motorcycles are mode of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City.

For those who can't afford motorcycle, opt for bicycle
Carrying nearly everything they could, weaving their way through the swarms of motorcycles.

Police Officer in Ho Chi Minh City.

Eyeing for the traffic light, it was a race track on Ho Chi Minh roads
Pandemonium breaks out when the traffic light changes, as cyclist rush forward 
rushing to get ahead of others.

Water Puppet Show, a traditional art form closely connected with the long-standing spiritual life of Vietnamese.
It is performed in a pool of water, and water surface is their stage. It depicts the tales of rural life, portrayed in 
traditional Vietnamese orchestra. Splendid! 

Coffee production is second largest source of income for Vietnam, after rice.
Coffee beans are easily available and sold in cookie jars. 

Night Streets at the Ben Thanh Market, are also home to countless people.

Road Side restaurant at Ben Thanh Market.

Not sure if this apply to Vietnam but in this city, people ought to buy houses, cars, motorcycles or anything else in cash term, there won't be loan from the bank nor anybody else. You'd understand, why people are always rushing forward, always moving in fast pace. Every single minutes, are mean of income for them. The widen gap of rich and poor threatens and swallows them whole. You can see people driving in fancy red Bentley Coupe, juxtaposing homeless people on streets, who can't afford to get a house in cash. Canvas as blanket, street as bed. Through sunless lanes creeps poverty with hungry eyes, sin of sodden face. It weighing down my heart.  

Misery wakes me up in the early morning. 

Houses near to Ben Thanh Market, showered by time.

Crossing Ho Chi Minh City is not easy
but they will always take care of their elderly.

Tallest Skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City, Bitexco Financial Tower. 

Coconut Candy makers at Mekong Delta.

Children of the Mekong Delta.

Boats ply through the waters of Mekong Delta in a scenic routes.

On the street of District 6, Ho Chi Minh City.
Hustle Bustle traffic of the Central Market

At the Binh Tay Market

Lady in pink helmet. 

Traders at around Binh Tay Market

Night streets hawker stalls of Ho Chi Minh City in neon lights

Spicy noodles.

Here's one place i spent most of my time at Ho Chi Minh
Tous Les Jours at downtown, love the foods, environment and musics. 

Ho Chi Minh City is divided into 24 districts, district 1 and 3 are the heart of most things to do, also best areas to stay. 7 named urban districts, 7 numbered districts, and 5 outlying named suburban districts.

Dragons, of the Ho Chi Minh City

Houses at District 1

District 1 central square, where people spent most of their time at. 
Exercising, socializing.  

Dogs are pet and eventually food for most of Vietnamese people. 

Life along railway track at District 3

Crossing District 3

Train zooming cross residential area of District 3

Despite the rapid development in Ho Chi Minh City, green lungs are always appreciated 
Central parks like this are designed in District 1 and 3.

Handcraft trader passing the City Council.

the Vietnam's bustling largest city set in stride of cultural and economic pace for the country but juxtaposition gap of both are widely prominent. Here, where you see massive state of art office towers and residential banglos, contradict the homeless. There are also shopkeepers struggling on a USD 1,500 shop rental on a ground floor unit around Ben Thanh market. In downtown, there are people dressing in suit talking business, fancy LV and Gucci, of a YSL tie; there are people excreting by road side. Perhaps, the trees planted by the revolutionist leader are not yet reap, in return to cultivate the people? Cultural loses their race against Rapid development? 


Friday, January 4, 2013

Hasselblad 500C

You don't see when you use film, you feel. The beauty of its depth, contrast, color rendition and the factor of unpredictability. I'm now back to the darkroom junkie, soak, bath, fix, wash and the digital scanning; love then hate!

Like many objects of passionate devotion, the Hasselblad is both physical ornament and mythical marking. Once the technical gear of sterling quality and a facilitator of ritual engagement to the world. My inauguration of Hasselblad 500C came in mid 2012, I'd finally save enough. Months of near constant loitering through the capitals of Southeast Asia, had their mark onto the finer grain structure of Kodak Portra, it was pure joy. This is the second time, i'm putting a halt onto Digital Photography, only this time, i didn't ditch my Digital gears.

I just wanted to slow down and think, the merciless simplicity of Hasselblad answered that call.


A Hasselblad of Love. 


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2. 0. 1. 3

Life is like shooting on film
it develops from the negatives

it be get tough sometimes
you gotta hold on, like a carousel
going around & around & around. 

HAPPY 2013!