Note the juxtaposition of meanings regarding the pigs. In this moment they appear to us almost comic; the angles of the faces of the two backward-facing pigs could be said to have a kind of a peek-a-boo quality. And yet we also know that it is more than likely that these pigs are destined to be sold and slaughtered.
Note that the composition makes passing reference to the cautionary fairy tale, The Three Little Pigs, but that it also seems to be saying, “fuck planning for the future”, because whichever of those three pigs built its house out of bricks is irrelevant because all three will die and be eaten anyway.
Note the enigmatic facial expression of the pig dealer, the shyness of his looking away from camera, and yet he unconsciously embraces the shot with the hands-on-hips pose and the subtly effeminate positioning of his fingers.
The picture tells us stories of both ends of the spectrum with regard to Vietnam’s place in the world. There is the topsy-turvy nature of life, where they driving Pig Dealer rides with no helmet while the pillion Pig Dealer does have a helmet. The hay cushioning used in the left pig’s splint, the flip-flops and the rain-stopper that the Dealer wears remind us of the earthy, day to day existence of the Pig dealer but the helmet gives us a glimmer of the future. The man’s lack of hair and short stature point to his highly-evolved nature. He is reaching out into space. An interplanetary trader of swine. The Future is now!