Back Home Arts & Culture Arts & Culture Categories Music & Art Creator Of “Humans Of New York” Visits Vietnam
Last week, Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the bestselling photo book, Humans of New York paid a visit to Vietnam with stops in Hanoi and HCMC.
Stanton, who boasts nearly 10 million fans on his Facebook Page, is currently traveling the globe where he interviews regular folks and pairs their story with their portraits to give the viewer a deeper insight into the lives of his subjects.
He has been featured in a number of international news outlets and in December 2013, he was named one of Time Magazine's 30 Under 30 People Changing The World.
Here are some of the images he took while in Vietnam:
"I have to leave the discipline to Mom. This one can feel that I’m about to yell at her before I say a word. So she runs up to me, gives me a hug, and starts crying right away. So how can I yell at her? And this one lets me yell at her, but her face turns very dark and resentful, and it’s scary. So what am I supposed to do then? So I let Mom do the yelling. They are very attached to me. Everyone sleeps in the same bed, and they won’t go to sleep unless they are resting their head on my shoulders. Dad’s shoulders only. And it’s hard to sleep. When I’m trying to sleep they, um, sometimes they, um, try to play with my nipples."
"What’s your biggest goal in life?" "To afford to live."
"Who has had the greatest influence on you in life?"
"What’s your favorite thing about your father?"
"He’s got a great heart."
"Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?"
"There was a short period of time when I was younger that my father would beat my mother. It made me very sad."
"Does that not affect your view of your father’s heart?"
"It was a period of high stress. My mother had very high expectations of him and he wasn’t making any money. I think she would mock him sometimes. I just want to leave it in the past. They’re much happier now."
"When I pick him up from kindergarten, sometimes I stand quietly across the room, and watch him play with his friends. It just makes me so happy to know that I have a son and he is growing every day."
"Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?" "Every day when I get home from work."
"I wrote a comment. She liked the comment. I sent her a friend request."
"Our daughter was five months old when I got a scholarship to Johns Hopkins. My wife came with me to Baltimore so that our family could stay together. I will always be thankful for that sacrifice, because I know it was the toughest three years of her life. She didn’t speak a word of English. We lived in a tiny studio— so tiny that many times I did my studying in the bathroom. In Vietnam, she had a job where she was getting phone calls all day long. But in America, the phone never rang. She wasn’t allowed to work because of visa requirements. Vietnamese holidays were regular days in America, so I’d be in class during New Year and we could never be together. Sometimes when I’d come home from school during wintertime, she’d look at me with tears in her eyes and say: ‘Tuan, I want to go home.’ But she still stayed with me. When I finally got my degree, many of my friends asked if I’d look for a job in the US. But I wouldn’t do that to her. She had done enough for me. So I said: ‘We are going home immediately.’ And as soon as we got back to Vietnam, she was like a fish back in the pond."
"She’s our only child. She started college in Michigan this year. I took this photo on the day that I dropped her off at school. The morning I left, I walked into her dorm room, and saw a bundle under the covers. I said: ‘Sweetie, do you want to say bye to your dad?’ Then I saw that the bundle was shaking. I pulled back the covers, and her eyes were filled with tears. My heart was melting when I left. These days I stay at the office as long as possible, because my wife works late, and I don’t want to be at home with no one there."
"What are you thinking about?" "I come here to not think."
"Do you remember the happiest moment of your life?" "The first time I kissed her."
"What’s your favorite thing about your mom?"
"In what way is she hardworking?"
"She cooks food for her business all day. Then she comes home and cooks food for us."
"What’s your biggest fear?"
"When did you feel most alone?"
"On weekend nights in college, sometimes I’d sit by myself in the corner of my dorm room with nothing but a little light on, while all my friends went out."
"Why didn’t you go out with them?"
"It’s hard to say."