I have been living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the past six years. We, everyone here, calls it Saigon. I have traveled extensively around Asia, but I am most familiar and indebted to Vietnam. It is a misunderstood, small, but lively country.
The city is very colorful and bustling, flowers and plants everywhere, outdoor markets, packed alleys and daily services often forgotten about or disregarded in Western cultures. It is a collective mind in this country, life is good, not always easy, but they try to live well, by standards that have seemed to fit my own sensibility.
I call these pieces “picture poems”, a Kenneth Patchen reference/ vernacular, but travel memoirs/ photo essays/ instances in themselves that reflect how I see the world in Vietnam, immersed, and always through learning and contribution.
I am most comfortable with words, but images are usually how the words take form, through the physicality of thought.
Some of the pieces were created in the 3 months our lives have been on hold…three months for us…we have been set free, “man is condemned to be free”, I have seen great acts of determination and hospitality, trade and love, but also dire circumstances that have made me break down. Still, throughout this experience, “we” have remained calm and accepted this as survival first.