When he was living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, Japanese Taneda Motoki chose to contemplate the bustling city from quiet corners.
Whenever he had free time, Motoki would ride his motorbike alone to nice cafes and old architectural works to capture the city through his lens.
In February 2020, the Japanese man traveled to Vietnam and was eventually “stuck” in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With a background of working as a portrait photographer at a Hokkaido studio, while working in customer service at a Japanese company in Ho Chi Minh City, Motoki used his spare time to wander around the city, taking pictures of people and scenes.
“Vietnamese people love taking photos more than Japanese people, I think,” he said.
|A photo is taken in Ho Chi Minh City by Taneda Motoki. Photo: Supplied
According to him, Vietnam has many photo studios with unique concepts and reasonable prices, and it makes it easy for people to rent for photoshoots.
“A lot of studios surprised me,” Motoki said.
His strength was portrait photography, but in Vietnam, Motoki found new inspiration in classical architecture.
“On my day off, I tend to go to an old cafe and museum in the early morning, as the morning sunlight helps create beautiful photographs,” he said.
For Motoki, the interwoven existence of ancient architecture and the extremely fast development of Ho Chi Minh City impressed him a lot.
|A snap in Ho Chi Minh City by Taneda Motoki. Photo: Supplied
Four years in Ho Chi Minh City also gave him the opportunity to explore the differences between the lifestyles of the two countries.
“In this city, we can buy everything from a personal seller via online. If you order something from a seller, you can receive it in one hour. That is so convenient. When I bought some camera and lights, I contacted the camera seller and they sent it to me so fast. I can buy what I want any time,” he said.
“Moreover, people work from early in the morning and in the afternoon they take naps and then they hang out at night.
“That is a different point compared to Japanese people's lifestyle,” he concluded.
New inspirations in Vietnam did not only help Motoki "take better photos" but also contribute to motivating him to think more seriously about his photography career.
|A coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City is captured by Taneda Motoki. Photo: Supplied
He is now returning to Japan for more professional training and working in photography.
“Four years in Vietnam gave me great experience for my photos. My friends even questioned how my photos improved,” he said.
|Taneda Motoki is seen in a photo he provided Tuoi Tre News
According to Motoki, Vietnamese artists are actively working around the world, not only as photographers, but also in other industries.
“I hope to see Japanese and Vietnamese artists interact more as they will inspire each other,” he said.
“For example, young photographers and Japanese photographers have different processes to take a photo. We can absorb some of the good practices from each other.”
Some photos Taneda Motoki took during his trips around Vietnam: