Street culture in Vietnam is defined by two wheels. Beneath these rivers of bikes (95% of all registered vehicles) lie stories that speak of the national spirit.
Stories of history – bicycles were famously effective carrying supplies along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Of status and economic progress – a motorbike is, for some, a sign of greater prosperity than the humble bicycle. Of food culture – freshness of ingredients is paramount in Vietnamese cuisine; with its ability to weave through crowded produce markets, the bike is often the most efficient means of delivery.
Of youth culture and fashion – young couples and students convene around their bikes at night, stopping at roadside stalls to choose accessorising helmets (mandatory since 2001, but often flimsy and ineffective). Of family life – it’s not unusual to see 3 or 4 family members squeezed onto the same bike, or young children clinging to a parent on their way home from school.
This series was inspired by the iconic status of the bike in Vietnam, and the street culture that surrounds it.