The last assignment I had before leaving Hanoi was also probably the most enjoyable editorial job I've had the pleasure to work on - beating even the glorious occasion on which the magazine I worked for allowed me to spend millions of their dong on cheese to photograph and, ultimately, to consume.

The assignment was to photograph some of the more experimental musicians working in Hanoi's music scene. So I paid a visit to Kim Ngoc and Son X in their home studio above a cafe, to Touliver in his studio overlooking Truc Bach Lake, and Tri Minh and his collaborators preparing for an upcoming performance in his high-rise apartment. I wanted to shoot each performer in a different style, and leave it up to chance how it turned out, depending on what I found when I arrived in their studios. I also wanted to do a little experimenting of my own, and try out some light-painting, which I'd only used on one photograph before this assignment. 

All of these shoots were fun, but I have to say, that photographing Kim Ngoc and Son X was by far one of the best experiences I've had with a camera. They were totally up for the fairly time-consuming, trial-and-error process of being light-painted, and were very enthusiastic about working with me on elements of detail and composition until we were all happy with the results. In that sense I can say that their photos were a true collaboration, and that they took them just as much as I did - and that was a unique experience.

So I'd like to say thank-you, first of all to Francois from Noi Pictures for giving me this assignment, and to the writer, David Crosbie, for choosing such interesting subjects. I'd like to thank my housemate, Andy, for donating the Lego-man light which made the light-painting possible, and for assisting me on each of these shoots. And finally I'd like to thank the people I photographed for being so accommodating - Kim Ngoc and Son X for their ideas and enthusiasm, Tri Minh for the red wine and the music, and Touliver for graciously chain-smoking until I got the shot I was looking for.

And for anyone who wants to buy a copy of the magazine, containing 'Global Ear on Hanoi' - a finely-written article by David Crosbie - you can do so here.

Portrait - Portrat | Photographer - Fotograf | Berlin


  1. thanks for a nice pictures...

    best regards


  2. Hey Tri Minh,

    Sorry I didn't see your comment for ages! My pleasure, and thanks again for letting me come and shoot your rehearsal.

    Hope everything's going well for you over there.