Exhibit looks at a rapidly changing Vietnam

West Long Branch — Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts has announced the opening of a new gallery exhibit Transition: Vietnam byMonmouth University’s professors Mark Ludak and Andrew Cohen taking place in the Pollak Gallery now through November 30.

Andrew Cohen’s photo, Vendor in Da Lat Market, 2017 Pigment Print

This exhibition includes selected photographs that capture the rapid transformation of Vietnam. The opening reception will be held Sept. 15, from 6 – 8 pm in the Pollak Gallery.

Vietnam has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Intrigued by the cultural and economic shifts, Monmouth University Department of Art and Design Professors Mark Ludak and Andrew Cohen have returned multiple times to photograph the region. A dynamic, youthful country, especially seen in mega-cities like Ho Chi Minh City (Sai Gon), it is a country where the traditional and contemporary are reconstituted into distinctively Vietnamese manifestations.

The photographs in this exhibition capture the multidimensional nature of the country as it continues to grow and evolve.
Mark Ludak is a fine art and documentary photographer. He has worked professionally as a documentary photographer since 1986, concentrating on social, political and environmental conditions in Central America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the United States.
His work has been widely published including The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News, Time, Der Spiegel, Focus, Utne Reader, In These Times, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, The Chronicle of Higher Education and ABC News-Nightline. He is a 2016 recipient of the Puffin Foundation Grant for Photography. His photography has been exhibited nationally at the Photographic Resource Center-Boston University, Noyes Museum of Art-Stockton College, Monmouth University-DiMattio Gallery & Ice House Gallery, Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie Mansion.

Most recently Ludak has been photographing for organizations in Nicaragua, Vietnam and Rwanda.

Andrew Cohen’s earliest photographic work was documentation of art historical research in India. Self-taught, these photos served as an inventory of monuments he researched and subsequently published as scholarly book/articles.  Over the years his interest moved to Vietnam, a place he visited six times, and simultaneously his approach to photography progressed into a creative obsession.

Now, sensitive to light, color and movement, photography serves as a means to understand people and environment for Cohen. Cohen describes the country in his words as, “Vietnam is a striking country; to me the food, the coffee, sights, sounds and smells are intoxicating.

The changes are palpable during each visit.  My work focuses on transformation, which I document as the mundane, unceasing human condition.”

The Pollak Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. All gallery events are free and open to the public.