By the mid-1990’s, Vietnam’s astounding economic transformation was well underway.
Markets crowded with crops, vast flocks of poultry ready to be sold, and kids sitting down to full bowls of food as shown in these photos by Japanese photographer Hiroji Kubota make visually clear what fiscal growth looks like on a local level.
Shot between 1995 and 1999, they depict a country at the nexus of globalized modernity and tradition. Locals roast coconuts with brick ovens in Ben Tre, while employees processing shrimp for export at a plant in Can Tho adhere to strict safety standards. In Sapa, H’Mông wear traditional, handmade clothing while motorbikes sneak onto streets overwhelmed with bicycles.
No culture or country ever exists as a static concept, but there are moments of accelerated flux. Truly, Vietnam did not saunter towards the 21st century, but hurled ahead driven by a manic hunger to grow, expand and change for the sake of people’s prosperity.
Have a look at these frantic years below: