RICHARD MARK DOBSON
The Loop
 
In my Dailies series I give myself 24 hours to explore notions of 'how far from our moral, ethical and spiritual centre have we fallen'? 

If you start walking from any point along Thao Dien road and keep going, you will eventually arrive back where you started. Hence it's called The Loop. Thao Dien, District 2, is regarded by Vietnamese and foreigners alike, as a salubrious neighbourhood. 
 
Its reputation is hip, cool and expensive. Some might call it the Belgravia of Ho Chi Minh city.
 
Adjacent to the Saigon river, and all around The Loop, ostentatious villas and condominiums with names like The Metropole, D'Edge, sell for US$3.5 million or more. US6,500 monthly rental prices are common. International schools in Thao Dien offer US$27,000 a year tuition fees. 

People are paying ludicrous amounts of money to live in this neighbourhood and large sums of money to the Vietnamese government in taxes. Some might say the prices are first world. Yet the overall aesthetic is 'third world'?
 
The opening image of CGI billboard sells the Saigon dream. But reality shows a different picture. There is a massive disconnect between the sales pitch and what is!
 
I've focused my camera on the details. The footpaths especially. For these are communal spaces where the citizens of this area are expected to walk.

Consider the titles and the luxury villas mentioned, and then through these images we might ask ourselves some basic questions about ignorance, ethics, the values of a nation. What are the qualities of the people who build this? Accept this? Pay for this?
 
I've drawn my own conclusions. I'd like you to do the same.
 
Richard Mark Dobson
Saigon 2022

The Loop
RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Loop
selling the riverside dream diptych
RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Loop
riverside views # 1

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riverside views # 2
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riverside views # 3

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outside the hoang anh rIver view luxury apartments # 1
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outside the hoang anh rIver view luxury apartments # 2

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outside the hoang anh rIver view luxury apartments # 3
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outside the hoang anh rIver view luxury apartments # 4

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riverside walkway # 1
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riverside walkway # 2

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riverside walkway # 3
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riverside walkway # 4

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a window into our world
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grass snake nguyễn văn hưởng

RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Loop
permanent collection. corner of quốc hương & xuân thủy
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bless our new home

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outside the gates of the british international school # 1
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outside the gates of the british international school # 2

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next door to the british international school
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pavement besides the d'edge luxury apartments

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outside the d'edge luxury apartments
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pavement opposite d'edge luxury apartments

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sidewalk in front of the d'edge luxury apartments
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cracking villa for sale # 1

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cracking villa for sale # 2
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views opposite grand opening of cedar villas 'inspire your spaces' apartments # 1

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views opposite grand opening of cedar villas 'inspire your spaces' apartments # 2
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road next to thao dien green luxury apartments

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street 66, next to riveside gardens # 1
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street 66, next to riveside gardens # 2

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opposite the symphony from river to sky apartments # 1
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opposite the symphony from river to sky apartments # 2

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opposite the symphony from river to sky apartments # 3
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opposite the symphony from river to sky apartments # 4

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opposite the symphony from river to sky apartments # 5
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the pavement infront of the AVA residency luxury apartments # 2

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footpath opposite 'waterside' luxury residences
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footpath, manhole and drain in the vicinity of eden villas

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land adjacent to hoang anh rIver view luxury apartments
RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Loop
footpath infront of the european school

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footpath adjacent to the HOLM residencies # 1
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footpath adjacent to the HOLM residencies # 2

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wall opposite an phue river view serviced apartments
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public bench close consulate of malaysia

RICHARD MARK DOBSON The Loop
sidewalk opposite rường mầm non học viện pre-school
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power supply. Nguyễn Văn Hưởng

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109-107 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng
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