All things considered
Ha Dao (Vietnam)

In 2017, a woman named Hang Thi Hong Diem killed her husband then dismembered his body at home, a factory worker dormitory in Binh Duong province, Vietnam. The so-called crime of passion made national headlines because of its grotesque yet compelling details. In front of the court, she recounted what happened on that fateful night. Yet during the four-hour public interrogation, a piece of truth remained elusive, impossible to be put into words.

I was initially drawn to the conflict between the graphic description and deadpan images of the case in news reports: a seemingly innocent street corner, trash cans, and the interior of a factory worker dormitory took on new meanings when captioned as the crime scene. In hindsight, perhaps what I wanted to find out was to what extent we could know and empathize with the lives of others.

Adopting the role of a stalker or private investigator as if in a twisted game, I set out to capture both observed and staged situations in the industrial town of Binh Duong. Combining audio excerpted from the trial - one that chastises in a male voice, this work attempts to recreate the incident based on the testimony of the woman convict.


Ha Dao (1995) is a photographer and artist based in Hanoi, Vietnam. Drawn by the quiet drama in everyday life, she started out making images that take an imaginative approach to the documentary genre and are built upon close observations mixed with loose associations, often through the lens of gender and sexuality. Her current practice incorporates multimedia and explores stories of love on the margin.