Many Hanoians have seen historical photos of the capital’s lost tramway network, which was inaugurated in 1901. What began as a state-of-the-art electric tramway eventually fell into disrepair in the late 20th century, with some lines continuing to function as late as the 1980s.
While looking at these photos can spur warm feelings of nostalgia, another form of reflection takes us back in a completely different way. Just as metaphors can be more powerful than stated facts, these digital art impressions of old trams in Hanoi transport us back in a manner that allows us to suspend disbelief, and to enter into this digital world.
The artwork depicts trams rolling down what is now Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, with either the Maison Godard Department Store or Bách Hóa Tổng Hợp Building in the background. A number of images are from the earliest days of the tramway network, while others are in the same location, but portray the trams much later in their lifespan, when they became rusty, dented workhorses.
Take a step into an imagined history below:
[Image via Behance user Tung Le]