Vietnam's motorbike culture through the eyes of a foreigner

by Hung Nguyen10 July 2017 Last updated at 15:00 PM

VTV.vn - It was reported recently that Vietnam will be banning motorbikes in the inner city area of Hanoi by 2030. How will the image and memories of Hanoi's motorbikes be kept?

This question not only applies to the Vietnamese, but also to foreigners living in Vietnam. A photo exhibition was held recently which tackles this very issue.

These images of motorbikes are familiar to Vietnamese people. But for foreigners, it's something new and interesting.

Huren Marsh, an interior designer lecturer came to Vietnam a year ago. He likes taking photos of where he lives and posting it on Instagram.

For him, motorbikes in Vietnam are not just a means of transportation, but also something that's associated with the lives of the people here. His photos have been gathered for a small exhibition entitled "Behind the motorbikes."

Through Huren's lens, the motorbikes are multifunctional but ordinary.  The "Behind the motorbikes" exhibition, which features 24 photos from his Instagram page, reflects the unique culture of Vietnam.

“Since my arrival in Hanoi a year ago I have been observing and documenting various aspects of Vietnamese life and culture that stood out from my Western/ Eurocentric aesthetics and socialisation. Back of Bike is an installation that narrates one of these observations through photography, text, moving images and an illuminated 3-D display in the entrance area of the restaurant", said Huren Marsh.

Along with showcasing things that are carried on motorbikes, Huren is also interested in learning about motorbike fashion: how some motorbikes are decorated, or how Vietnamese people join in traffic.

Apart from the "Behind the motorbikes" exhibition, "Very Việt Nam" and "It works in Vietnam", Huren Marsh will continue his journey of discovering Vietnam through other future projects.

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