Rural Mother Embroidering
A noted icon of photography, Bill Brandt once stated, “Most photographers would feel a certain embarrassment in admitting publicly that they carried within them a sense of wonder, yet without it they would not produce the work they do, whatever their particular field.” This sense of wonder is very apparent in all of Jim’s images in this exhibition, in which he has eloquently and lovingly captured the very essence, beauty and spirit, of the Vietnamese people. All of his prints are captivating and inspiring, and I particularly admire “Rural Mother, Embroidering” for it also illustrates a particular value often missing in western cultures, namely, that everyone seems to utilize every precious moment of each day to the fullest. Here, in this touching image, the mother is probably walking along a rural road, intently engrossed in embroidering an article of clothing, but all the time, she is fully aware of her precious baby, peacefully sleeping in the colorful cocoon suspended over the mother’s shoulders. The image is greatly enhanced by the soft lighting, which impressively enhances all of the colors in the mother’s traditional apparel and that of the baby carrier. The diffuse illumination also enriches the warm glow of the mother’s face and hands, and brings out the lovely detail of her long hair, which is casually, but majestically swept up and held by a clasp at the top. There is no doubt that this exquisite photograph typifies traditions long held in rural Vietnam, and we all must thank Jim most sincerely, for sharing with us such a poignant and moving image, which captures an intimate moment so beautifully.