“Things that remain” project normally chronicles daily activities in some of each narrow houses in Saigon urbanization. In Saigon, there are many old buildings which were built in 1975. From that day till now, over 50 years the narrow living is still continuing every day. All buildings in Saigon are divided into 4 groups, predicated on the capacity of bearing structure. Including level A, level B, level C and level D.
My project focuses on describing daily life inside each narrow house from level D old buildings group which is being considered for clearance in a few years. During 4 months, I have met many people include families, couples, each individual, entered in the private life and gathered many intimate conversations accompanying with happiness, sorrow and even worry from local people who couldn’t certainly determine how is their future happening. Each conversation started, I try to take much time as much as possible, just listen in the most genuinely way and keep the objectivity in each situation I had opportunity to reach.
One boy students lives in one of old buildings, district 4, Saigon, had shared his worry about the reality: “People here don’t want their house to be moved. Because their income depends on the market inside the buildings. Moreover, authorities don’t compensate adequately. Each house costs over 2 billion VND, how the state can have enough money to offset all of us?” The smallest house I came, the more deeply stories I was heard. When you have enough time to look into their eyes and open heart too, such an incredible experience and worthiest gift you luckily took. I think everything in the world always happens in the orderly, imbued passing day after day. And now I yearn to reach more secret stories and hope to keep it as present gifts from people I met. That is the main reason motivated me overcome obstacles and keep going forward.
30 images here are just a small part from approximately 100 images I chronicled during the time I stayed here including inside and outside buildings. It is not absolute enough to express the whole story. But I hope all you guys can touch the sentiment, intimacy, genuine and connection from the people in each frame.