No Mud No Lotus

Linh Pham


Huy Anh takes off his straw fedora as he enter the graveyard near Hanoi, his other arm still holds a bouquet of white chrysanthemums. He follows his parents through the knee-high grass path to find his late grandfather’s grave, a soldier of People’s Army of Vietnam serving during ‘American War’ that is referred to as the ‘Vietnam War’ by Americans. They find the grave, dust off the headstone, cut the grass, light incenses, place flowers and start bowing. They practice the ritual that has been around for centuries. At a glance, Huy Anh feels vague. The war has been gone for 40 years in Vietnam, long enough that more than half of the population didn’t have to witness the horrific era. After the fall of Saigon, Vietnam came to an era of reconstructing and building a new country as the socialist model began to collapse. Today its economy is booming thanks to a shift in political views that has opened up the country, along with that, there are dramatic changes in terms of culture and society that embrace Vietnamese especially the youngsters.

This project is a collection of photos simply depicting the country as it is, both happiness and sorrow.


Linh Pham is a Vietnamese photojournalist based in Hanoi, Vietnam. He explores the human condition with a more contemporary touch which reflects his study in modern art & design. His work has seen him document Kachin’s rebels in remote northern Burma, follow Cuban migrants from Havana to central Europe and chase for the giant catfish down in the tail end of Mekong River. He attempt to give a voice to the people and subjects that would not otherwise be heard.

He contributes to Getty Images and his work has been published in National Geographic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Guardian amongst others.

In 2016, Linh co-founded Matca, a bilingual online journal and physical space dedicated to photography in Vietnam. In 2019, he was named as one of the talent from Southeast Asia and Oceania by World Press Photo.

Although working internationally, Linh’s personal works often return to document the avant-garde aspects of the issues that has a link to the past in Vietnam where his root is planted in.