Taking you from pictures of people reading, on the last page, via this photo of a man who thinks he might be reading (if he had a book) but in the meantime is
puzzling over some nearby event
This is the second of two pages resulting from a wandering camera in Hà Nội being pointed at people who, as is general in Vietnam, really do not seem to care about being subjected to another's gaze. The one problem that does occur constantly here, is that given half a chance the response to any camera pointing in their direction, is to straighten up and pose, producing the antithesis of candid shots. Hence most of these photographs show people distracted, gently engaged, or preoccupied with others. These photographs feature an almost complete lack of activity; Hà Nội's climate is such that this is much the most sensible approach to daily living.
Fountain in Hàng Đậu Park, near Long Biên Bridge,
watched as the sun sets
Unselfconscious poseurs. Although the impressively fat...
...cat (by Vietnamese standards) might have reason to pose
Such velveteen costumes are popular among older women. She sells cigarettes and tea - kept hot in the insulated box under her hand, and topped up from the flask
Hands that might make...
...him wonder about ageing
Thinking about the final touches to his flag display...
...while she unhooks a snagged fold
What indiscreet comment might be being shared here? (The office behind them makes seals)
Older faces stoically cycling through the traffic...
...or wheeling a cycle through a park
The long formal dress (aó dài) being admired beside the Chúa Báo Ân at Hoàn Kiếm Lake
Might his hands say he is waiting - a little long
Whereas he, hunkered down, has a relaxed arm drooping over his knee keeping an armpit cool
A Hà Nội matron with what may well be a daughter and grand-daughter. Vietnamese women seem not infrequently to fail to show any signs of age at all until around 50, and then catch up on their western counterparts surprisingly rapidly
Viet people have jet black hair - so red dye is considered
chic, and a crash helmet would hide his
important fashion statement
Is he relieving a lower back pain? - precariously!
Another aó dài framed at the Chúa Báo Ân
Not knowing what she has seen: might her face express anxiety at the man above's position; or consternation at the elegance of the framed woman!
This just must be some accident about to happen!
(According to the notice above them, these women sell a range of types of metal)
And here another event is disturbing, but not so much that yellow takes her eyes away from me
Thus heavily covered against the sun, women sometimes wave, forgetting there is no chance of recognising them!
Might you guess that the younger woman could be thinking: "Mother really!"
The next page
jumps from human scenes in busy Hà Nội to the uninhabited spaces of the island of Mull in the north-west of Scotland.
The next page
of the Mosaic Section is headed 'Bitter Art'.
Or go to the
Go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
of the Mosaic Section.