Charlie surfs on lotus flowers: Exploring Vietnam

A photographic journey through modern-day Vietnam.


Vietnam - Fascinated by the contradictions of post-war Vietnam, a country somewhat in limbo between free-market capitalism and the strict rules of the Communist Party, Italian photographer Simone Sapienza embarked on a journey to explore the country beyond its perfect travel photographs.

Almost 40 years after the Viet Cong's victory over the United States, modern Vietnam has radically changed its ambitions and dreams.

Populated by a young and energetic new generation, the country is expected to become one of the world's fastest-growing economies. But behind this economic freedom, the communist government still holds absolute political power.

Charlie Surfs on Lotus Flowers is a sequence of metaphorical responses to notions of power, economy, energy, exoticism and politics that characterise current Vietnamese society. Like its national flower - the lotus - Vietnam may rise above the surface of its past to blossom.

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