This photographic series, which gives us insight into Vietnam’s swiftly changing contemporary society, was selected as a finalist in the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015. Discover more inspiring work from all 31 of the winners and finalists.

Vietnam is still a communist country, but it has opened its doors to the West and it is developing fast. Its cities are almost unrecognizable from how they looked 10 years ago. With this in mind, I was wondering, “What is going on behind closed doors?” I wanted to take a closer look beneath the facade and explore how people use their personal spaces at home or at work.

So, the project “100 Faces of Vietnam” represents a society which is on the brink of change; it shows the people from a developing country caught between tradition and modernity. Photographed in four different cities from the North to the center—Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An—these portraits offer a view into people’s homes and workplaces as well as insight into their lives and concerns. Some of them, as you will see, are rather unexpected.

—Astrid Schulz