As I’ve travelled the Vietnam countryside, I’ve seen many many times the folkloric image of the bamboo-hat-adorned farmer stooping among the chartreuse blades of a rice field, or leading a water buffalo through mud and mist. To my eyes, it always looks like a postcard or a sweeping location shot from a movie. To the farmer, it’s no doubt just another day of work.
Still, the Vietnamese themselves seem to see the beauty this image holds, and the way it represents their country. It manifests itself again and again in paintings, woodcarvings and embroidery.
Yesterday, I finally attempted to photograph it for myself.