In Vietnamese cities, a motorbike is the preferred method of transportation, even when hauling many large items. In 1991, photographer Hans Kemp visited Vietnam where he was overwhelmed and captivated by the streams of motorbikes rushing to prepare for the Vietnamese New Year. “I couldn’t believe my eyes…There were entire families on a bike, guys in suits, girls dolled up. I stood there mesmerized, intoxicated by this all-permeating scent of petrol mixed with perfume, sound, color, and motion. There was an incredible vibrancy to it all,” Kemp tells Slate.
In 1995, Kemp decided to move to Ho Chi Minh City from Hong Kong, and in 2000, a commercial client of his commissioned him to photographs some of the loaded motorbikes. Though Kemp found it difficult to capture all of the motorbikes he wanted because of safety, speed, or traffic concerns, he kept up with bikes’ paces pretty well.