I took a visit to a doctor or traditional Chinese medicine yesterday morning to take a few photographs. He lived in the middle of this maze of houses, up several flights of stairs and around what seemed at the time like a thousand different corners. A typical Hanoi housing development in the middle of the Old Quarter. His office was just a small section in the front of his one-room home. It was sectioned off from the rest of the house by a large bookcase with volume upon volume of medical dictionaries and books that he had authored.
Another wall held dozens of large jars with herbs and roots and other various healing elements. His pharmacy of sorts. We stayed there and spoke to him for about two hours. He was an amazing old man. He’d been studying traditional medicine for over 50 years. He showed us a journal that he kept in 1953 and 1954, when he first began studying medicine and Chinese writing. He gave me beer at 9am. And I drank it because obviously he knows what’s best for me.
These are some outtakes from the shoot. I spent a lot of time just nosing around while the writer interviewed him. The space was hot and dark and crowded in the way that I imagine the office of a traditional Chinese medicine man should be. I like when life ends up just like the movies like that.