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Number 1 Shimbun

May Photo Exhibition: Saigon

May Photo Exhibition: Saigon

by Megumi Asaoka

The first time I visited Saigon was in 2003 and I have returned a number of times since to photograph the city and its people. It has been a period of transition for this war-torn country. Buildings are rising under the Doi Moi (new change) Policy. The effects are particularly evident in the area around Ho Chi Minh City, which has been undergoing a major facelift. With a map, I traveled on local buses and walked through the different communities. The area across the river was soon to disappear. Houses were falling into decay as tropical flora sought to reclaim the land. I could not stop taking photographs. Around every corner I turned, there was something that needed to be preserved on film before it was lost. Physically, much has changed since I first started traveling Ho Chi Minh. One thing that has not changed is that many of its residents still refer to the city by its former name. For them, Saigon will always be Saigon. Behind the facade of lights and color that screens the city, the daily life of the local people goes on much as it always has.

 

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Published in: May 2018

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