My best memory of Tet, the Lunar New Year, is in Saigon. When I was young, I lived in Ho Chi Minh City for 10 years. During the Tet holidays, the city was full of colours and lights. I really loved Chinatown in District 5. It was so different to the rest of the city and during the New Year period, it has its own spirit. During Tet this year, I spent the first day wandering around this area.
Before I started working as a photographer, I studied IT. But I quickly realised that I’m not the kind of person who can sit for hours in front of a computer. So I quit the course and took up photography instead.
The more you love photography, the more you see life differently. Tet brings colours and a certain energy that you cannot see at other times of the year. This is what I tried to capture in this essay.
Shot in the run-up to Tet in Hanoi, each colour I chose in the photo essay is strong and bright. Their shades and brilliance represent the colours I associated with Tet when I was young. Each tint, and every single tone reflects the emotion and energy of the most important festival in Vietnam’s calendar.
Yet as you get older, the spirit of Tet tends to fade. As a grown-up, getting ready for the New Year is time-consuming and full of worry. This photo essay reminds me of a more carefree period of my life, when I didn’t have to go to school, when I ate candy, cake and played with firecrackers.
It’s important not to forget.