Today we share new work from one of our favorites. Adam Birkan is a freelance editorial photographer and visual storyteller. Born in Jerusalem and raised in the far off land of Cincinnati.Adam has been named one of Magnum’s 30 Under 30 and the winner of Photo District News’ Emerging Photographer award, as well as a finalist in the 2014 National Geographic competition. He also attended the 28th Eddie Adams Workshop. He has a Bachelors of Science in Visual Communication from Ohio University. His clients have included, among others, Vogue, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. His personal work often takes a macro view of social and economic issues. He focuses on literal and metaphorical juxtapositions and finds subtle moments that, collected together, reveal a broad depiction of accelerated industries and economic disparity in Asia. He is currently based in Bangkok, focusing on long term, and short term projects.
Hanoi is 1006 years old, and like the rings of an ancient tree, different eras of its history are etched into its landscapes and people. In few places are the past and present so visually evident in Asia. It is also a case study for emerging economies. In 2009 the urban population was estimated to be 2.9 million. In 2015, it was 7 million. Globalization is an unstoppable force, but its history is proving to be an immovable object. As the two forces meet in the 21st century, they have begun to transform the city into an unfamiliar and unsettling amalgamation of past and present. The essay is a quiet contemplation on the current state of Hanoi. It examines both ends of the social spectrum, individually and as juxtapositions to each other. It is also an attempt to deconstruct the orientalist cliche’s often created by the western gaze. The photos are a chronicle of Hanoi’s past, present, and its development towards an uncertain future.
To view more of Adam’s work please visit his website.