Signed copies of Home Work published by Dewi Lewis Publishing are available to buy from the Publications page.
Between September 2006 and May 2008 I spent two six month periods in Vietnam,
exploring the suburbs and villages in and around the capital city of Hanoi. Around 75% of Vietnamese people currently live in the countryside, but as Vietnam
moves increasingly towards urbanisation, its agricultural workforce faces the prospect of
losing its land, and its way of life. With Vietnam’s growing population
also making less land available for farmers to work, families unable to sustain themselves are turning to the creation of various products in rural areas. These ‘craft’ villages have become the meeting place between rural and urban, agriculture and industry.
The flat landscape in the Red River Delta area isn’t particularly beautiful; the villages are
functional rather than attractive. The traditional village house is typically single storey and
consists of three rooms. The large central room is a multipurpose living and sleeping area, as well as a place to work, and it is in this room where many of my photographs are taken. The mix of work and everyday objects fascinated me.
During the last decade small-scale industrial development has seen many craft villages increase production up to five fold. This is in line with rapid national economic development, however, the consequence is increased waste and environmental pollution with the resources of the landscape becoming overused.