Vietnamese bikes of burden

11 January of 2012 by

  • Briefing Maeva
  • Photo Hans Kemp

Hans Kemp is a Dutch photographer that fell in love with Vietnam (he lived in Ho Chi Minh), and is well known for his books about Vietnam and Vietnamese contemporary culture.

He currently lives in Bangkok and continues to travel around Asia, looking for new pictures that will make us feel a thrill.

I really appreciate the work of this man, that describes himself as a “photographer, writer, publisher, traveler, doubter, optimist, pessimist, lover, fighter, black and white and a zillion shades of grey, colorful, boring, fallible, human”. I’m very touched by his sensibility, that allows him to see the things that everyone don’t see, in the life of everyday.

“Picture yourself rice fields in every imaginary shade of green. kids and waterbuffalos splashing about in streams and rivers, oxcarts loaded with the season’s harvest, fishing boats with piercing eyes to guide them and streets full of motorbikes.
Motorbikes?”

Hans Kemp

He immortalized some instants of the Vietnamese life in his book “Bikes of Burden”, like a tribute to the motor bicycles that flood the streets in a both chaotic and organized way and make live the country.

In Vietnam, there is an obsession for fresh ingredients for every meal. No frozen meat or fish, the food always comes directly from the farm, to the abattoir and the dock.

So instead of transporting large quantities at a time, many loads of small quantities get transported all the time and the bike is the favorite mode.

Hans Kemp thinks that in a few years, motor bikes will disappear as the favourite mode of transport in Vietnam… “People will rely on fridges and freezers as they will be too busy to make the daily trip to the market. Roads will be widened, cars will be more available and the world will appear through a window.”

That why he tries to immortalize them, these Bikes of Burden.

I let you discover the poesy of Hans Kemp through his No Hans Land blog, and his beautiful photographs.

Maeva

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  1. Another reason why I’d never visit this country. Disgusting treatment of animals.

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