Hanoi Reflection by Wouter Vanhees

When does one really know a place? Does it take one year? Or a few? Maybe a lifetime? Having lived in Hanoi for five years, I’m still trying to make sense of it

“We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.”

T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding (1942)

When does one really know a place? Does it take one year? Or a few? Maybe a lifetime?

Having lived in Hanoi for five years, I’m still trying to make sense of it: venturing out after dusk, going from district to district and alley to alley. This process of looking for light and truth feels familiar by now. Comfortable even. But, serene as the search might be, maybe it’s time to come to terms with the fact that this city will never truly reveal itself?

Hanoi’s physical space has been changing radically over the past thirty years. While the city consisted of just a handful of urban districts in the past, new suburbs, rife with modernity, have and continue to be built for the inner-city population to move to. As Vietnam’s economy opened up, new wealth was created which impacted the agricultural lands and villages surrounding Hanoi. Families began to replace their traditional rural homes with multi-storey urban houses. Informal and small-scale at first, these conversions turned into formal rural-to-urban transitions, fueling the expansion of the city.

Throughout these past few decades, Hanoi saw the initiation and development of the transformative state in which it exists today: an ever-expanding mosaic of wards and districts, a labyrinth of lanes, streets and alleys, and a patchwork of demographic, economic, and socio-cultural situations.

I see Hanoi’s old scales fall to the ground and new skin appear. But its winter air is transluscent at best: it lets the shapes, forms and colors pass through, but leaves many blanks to be filled in.

And so the question keeps lingering in my mind: at the end of all this exploring, will I arrive where I started and know this place for the first time?

About Wouter Vanhees

Wouter Vanhees (1978) is a Belgian photographer, who has been living and working in Hanoi since 2015. Wouter started documenting his family’s life and travels in Vietnam and beyond. Gradually he got more into street photography, while living in Hanoi also sparked an interest in the rapid rate of urbanization of Vietnamese cities, and the social implications this creates.

In his artistic work, Wouter aims to tell the story of this urban transformation and of the lives of people on street level amid the changing cityscapes. He often wanders the cities after dusk, hunting for eye-catching and colorful slices of life and turning these into compelling visual stories. Apart from his urban nightscapes, he also enjoys creating other types of images, ranging from candid portraits to landscapes.

He continuously adds new photos to his body of work, and has participated in the IPA Mentorship program, organized by the highly-regarded Singapore-based photography platform Invisible Photographer Asia. [Official Website]

 

More Stories

Underwater by Mike Potts

Underwater by Mike Potts

I see the water as a metaphor for a dream medium and I try to meet my subjects on that boundary and hope that we are able to take the viewer from tranquil peace to a burst of creation and back again. Underwater project was selected and published in our print edition 22.
A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution by Sonia Payes

A Space Odyssey-style evolution, is Alchemy (2021), a collection of 14 vibrant chromogenic prints. Each one reiterates the same basic composition and design, with Ilana’s avatar recurring indomitably across two orderly rows. 
Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

Turin; You Do Not See by Riccardo Surace

The project titled What You Do Not See, Unordinary tells the story of the City of Turin, my city, seen through the eyes of passersby. All photographs have been captured with a long exposure technique; in other words, I mixed then history of the city with my own history, my life experience. In fact, after five years spent fighting a disease, my artistic purpose is primarily that of representing the all too familiar feeling when, as a young man wandering through the city, one feels invisible, and yet still he is thoroughly involved in its daily frenzy.

Nude Photography Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the Nude Photography Awards. We are looking
for the best nude picture for this year, 2022.

Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

DEADLINE | SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © OLIVIER VALSECCHI
Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments by Anne-Marie Giroux.

Fragments is a project within a project. Since 2020, I have been working on an installation project entitled Drifts Drifting Phase II which will be presented at Espace Produit Rien in Montréal in April 2023. The installation proposes a questioning of human and artistic drift, theme that I have been exploring since 2014. Adopting a critical and mocking approach on the relevance of the very essence of the art object, I also question the relevance of being an artist, and particularly, the relevance of being a woman artist.
Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

Exclusive interview with Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren

I have had the privilege to interview Henriëtte HJIMvanGasteren, formerly known as Lilith, for Dodho Magazine. In this honest and sincere conversation, she shows us why she is so interesting as a creator, and also as an artist persona.
Til All Is Correct by Louise Fago-Ruskin

Til All Is Correct by Louise Fago-Ruskin

I like to think of my Great Uncle Moszek hovering  somewhere between floors 8 and 12 of Nalewki Street  9 in the Warsaw ghetto. It is a safe place, this imagined placement of his body. Down below the streets of the ghetto are not safe. A German soldier has been killed and revenge is about to be sought. Boots are  heard on the ground, moving ever closer to number 9.

Featured Stories

Reflecting on Nature by Loreal Prystaj

Reflecting on Nature by Loreal Prystaj

There is no such thing as compromising with nature; we simply abide by how it lives and exist as a part of it. Nature is very relevant to each individual’s well-being, but more so than it is part of us, we are part of it.
Tom Stoddart

Tom Stoddart

A former Times editorial photographer, Paul Rogers is now a respected wedding photojournalist. His style pays homage to a finely honed journalistic eye that saw him cover assignments in Iraq, Africa and North Korea.
Jennifer Massaux : The feminine eye

Jennifer Massaux : The feminine eye

Upon viewing her work, Jennifer Massaux might seem to some, a comfortable veteran… But once taking into account that she’s only been behind the camera for just under a year and a half, the enormity of her talent quickly becomes apparent.
Between Intervals by Maren Klemp

Between Intervals by Maren Klemp

My goal with this project is to raise awareness of mental health. "Between Intervals" is a plunge into the darker sides of the human mind, and the photographs are visual representations of conditions associated with mental illness.
The Story Of one Family by Anna Galley

The Story Of one Family by Anna Galley

This story is about my grandmother. She is now 90 years old. She has 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. This story shows how one person is able to pull together a large family and keep  love in this family for many years.
My Hearth is An Animal by Katarzyna & Marcin Owczarek

My Hearth is An Animal by Katarzyna & Marcin Owczarek

Telling stories is a part of our fine art photography project based on surrealistic imagery. Our new series titled "My Hearth is An Animal" brings elaborate compositions combining human and animal elements.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/nude-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Nude Photography Awards. Our call is open to any artistic interpretation of nude photography.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/mono2022.jpg

The best 100 images along with the winning images published in the yearly book “Monochromatic – Best Photographers of 2022”

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/banner23.jpg

Call For Entries #23 | After 22 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Zodiac by Antonio Peinado

Zodiac by Antonio Peinado

Zodiac is a series of works, which were inspired by the myths and gods of the ancient Sumerian civilization which, thanks to the ancient Greeks, are known today as the Zodiac.
Aaron Sehmar ; In-between moments

Aaron Sehmar ; In-between moments

Aaron Sehmar - Fine art photography allows me to be able to come up with ideas for images that are a lot more conceptual, where the end result is more of a catalyst for a larger discussion about various topics, such as the purpose of photography, hyperreality, artifice and displacement.
Yamal by Marco Marcone

Yamal by Marco Marcone

Yamal, in the language of the indigenous Nenets who inhabit this land, means "the end of the world"; It is a remote, windswept place, characterized by permafrost, by lakes and rivers and is the land of reindeer breeders for over a thousand years.
Geometric lines, shapes, patterns and symmetry; Cityscape photography of Jon Deboer

Geometric lines, shapes, patterns and symmetry; Cityscape photography of Jon Deboer

I am a photographer and graphic designer based in Detroit, MI. I moved to the Metro Detroit area in 2006 to attend Lawrence Technological University, and graduated in 2010 with a BFA in Graphic Design
Waiting Girls by Sadegh Souri

Waiting Girls by Sadegh Souri

In Iran, death penalty is given to the children for the crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, and armed robbery. According to the Islamic Penal Law, the age when girls are held accountable for their crimes is 9 years old, while the international conventions have banned the death penalty for individuals under 18.
An Aerial Wonderland by Graham Earnshaw

An Aerial Wonderland by Graham Earnshaw

Graham took a morning flight in a small Cessna over the coastline of the main township of Broome, in the hope of capturing some beautiful and unusual aerials over nearby Roebuck Bay and Willie Creek.

Trending Stories

Le bel age by Varvara Shinkarenko

Le bel age by Varvara Shinkarenko

“Le bel age” is my ongoing photography project. It is about acceptance of your mature beauty. What is aging for you? Are you afraid of getting old? Wrinkles? Blue, grey hair?
Kabuki players by Hiroshi Watanabe

Kabuki players by Hiroshi Watanabe

Those Kabuki players seen in the photographs are not with the mainstream Kabuki companies in Tokyo. They are with localized small groups located in various parts of Japan.
Photo essay : Beyond the 60th Sense by Pedro Oliveira

Photo essay : Beyond the 60th Sense by Pedro Oliveira

"Beyond the 60th Sense" is a photo essay done over the course of two years on which I photographed and interviewed females over 50s and listened to their opinions and experiences on relevant topics such as body empowerment
Night photography : Easton Nights by Peter Ydeen

Night photography : Easton Nights by Peter Ydeen

The series “Easton Nights” began in late 2015 as an exercise in night photography, inspired mostly by the poetic shots of George Tice. The exercise soon evolved into an obsession, not just with the night or night photography.
Eltaj Zeynalov ; Human emotions

Eltaj Zeynalov ; Human emotions

My choice of subject comes from my interest in ideas about people and I want create a kind of sensual directness in my work such as primeval emotions while addressing such fundamental issues as memory, eros, mortality and pain.
Empire of Dust by Amélie Labourdette

Empire of Dust by Amélie Labourdette

Amelie Labourdette interrogates through her photographic work, which is in the landscape, is a priori invisible. There is always a blurred area of concern, a landscape underneath the visible landscape, which is not given at first gaze.
Photography Portraits by Barbara Oizmud

Photography Portraits by Barbara Oizmud

Barbara Oizmud was born in Pescara in 1977. From 2003 to 2006 she worked as a cartoonist collaborating on projects with RAI, a major Italian TV station.
Street Photography; Man in the city by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

Street Photography; Man in the city by Edgaras Vaicikevicius

Man in the city

,What is a city? The city is a rush, speed, noise. The city is a place where many people live. The city connect these people. But we become individually in the city. 


Metaphysical Body Landscapes by Anna Lazareva

Metaphysical Body Landscapes by Anna Lazareva

My childhood I've spent at my grandmother's house in Romania, near Carpathian Mountains. Seeing human's strong bond with earth, observing nature, landscapes around influenced my understanding of earth beauty and mens connexion with it. 

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.