Vietnam: In War and Peace, a new photograph and poster exhibit, will show authentic War-era North Vietnamese propaganda posters in contrast with photos of modern-day life in Vietnam. The photos of 21st century Vietnam were taken by Luke Fisher, Mark Brecke, Julian Abram Wainwright, Jeremy Webster and Todd Frank.
An opening reception is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2nd, at the Blue 7 Gallery, 3129 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Admission is free. The exhibit will remain on display until Monday, April 25th.
The photographs show a contemporary portrait of Vietnam’s youth population and its urban and rural lifestyles.
Luke Fisher, the producer of the show and contributing photographer, is a graduate of the Masters of Fine Arts Film Production Program at Loyola Marymount University.
Fisher’s initial motivation for a trip to Vietnam was to create a documentary about the paving of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This project metamorphized into his graduate thesis, called “The Road to Hanoi.”
While exploring Vietnam, Fisher found propaganda posters from the War-era, which he says he authenticated through the help of a Vietnamese translator and the Communist Manual of Licensed Artists. While filming in Hanoi, Fisher became increasingly attracted to the city.
Fisher’s observations were that Hanoi had an urban, yet intimate feel and was a mÈlange of Vietnamese, Chinese, French and American influences converging with a slow but steady movement towards Westernization.
He says that the discernable mood of many people was that they were “intensely proud of their independence and happy not to be at war.”
Mark Brecke, another photographer whose work is in the exhibit, is a San Francisco-based documentary photographer who has shot in some of the world’s most troubled regions, including Rwanda, Sudan and Kosovo.
Photographer Julian Abram Wainwright has been in Hanoi since 2001 and currently works there as a photojournalist. He has covered national elections in Cambodia and the “bird flu” outbreak in Vietnam.
Jeremy Webster’s photographic process goes against the current swing towards use of digital equipment. Webster prides himself on his photochemical and darkroom skills.
After graduating from UC Berkeley, photographer Todd Frank has been traveling and “surviving” in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and India. Frank currently lives on a boat in the Indian Ocean.
Information, (310) 449-1444.