/13 Vietnam

Jamie Maxtone-Graham

The Desiring Garden

The images in The Desiring Garden prey on the Western perception of the exotic; a Rousseau-like play on an environment in which certain indigenous species of plants, certain items of human utility, certain sources of nourishment and the people observed interacting with these are presented together in some arrangement, upsetting the logic of both the place and the document itself.

These embellished environments were created in some of the few, small public green spaces within the city of Hanoi and people passing by who stopped to inquire about them were invited to be documented within them. All of the flora and fauna – the flowers, fruit, and animals – were purchased in local, public markets in the surrounding, intensely crowded urban neighborhoods.