Cultural “hidden smiles” photographed across Vietnam

It’s arguable that smiling is the most universal gesture known to man. How we smile, however, is something that caught the eye of French  photographer Réhahn while traveling in Vietnam. Focusing on the details surrounding the smile, like the glimmer of sparkle in their eyes or how many wrinkles form when it spreads across their face, has been the artists objective. A customary gesture Réhahn observed in the Vietnamese people while establishing friendships along his journeys is their tendency to lift their hand and cover their smile when laughing, something he attributes to their modesty or politeness. “Despite the poverty or the age, the pictures reveal the life within the age,” Réhahn says of the photoseries, of which “all [lead] to the never-changing eyes, showing us their way of life, of thought, their real hidden smile.” He is currently curating an exhibit for this year of the work, entitled “100 Hidden Smiles.” As the Vietnamese are ranked among the happiest people in the world, their smiles wrinkles are a testament to the truth behind the statistic.

 All images by © Réhahn