Sometimes you just have to sit back and relax. The Vietnamese are experts at just that. No intersection too loud, no market too busy, no spot too uncomfortable – in Vietnam, people will find a way to unwind no matter the circumstances. This short photo series is an ode to that admirable skill.
On the one hand the borderline panic that runs through your western veins as you step on the streets of Hanoi for the first time trying to dodge scooters from all directions and on the other the artful tranquility of the Xe Om driver sleeping on his moped just two feet away.
That’s the contrast that this photo series is attempting to capture on 35mm color film. However, the relaxed attitude of the Vietnamese people portrayed in these photographs should not be confused with laziness. The reason these people can hang out on their moped mid day and seemingly not work is that depending on the profession live follows a very different rhythm in Vietnam. For farmers, fishers and salesmen on the markets most of the business is conducted in the early morning way before any tourist sets foot on the streets.
So for the rest of the day and night while tourists track through the city, sweating their way from one attraction and iced coffee to the next the locals have already found their spot in the shadow and are probably wondering why these westerners are torturing themselves in such a way.
The photographs were captured on 35mm Kodak Portra film with a Leica M6 and a 35mm Summicron lens from the 1980s.
About Philipp Wortmann:
Philipp Wortmann (25) living, studying and working in Augsburg, Germany is a self- taught photographer whose work sits between the genres of travel, reportage and documentary photography.