I was an Army Lieutenant working for the Department of Defense as a photographer-film director in Vietnam from June 1969 to June 1970. This period was marked by some of the war’s most challenging times including the US Cambodian incursion which I covered. While the war itself was the most photographed war in history and has even been called “The living room war,” the culture of Vietnam and the lives of its people during this time was not recorded to the same extent. These photos take the point of view of the photographer as observer discovering the people of Vietnam in the midst of their war-torn country. From the Montagnard tribesman in Pleiku to the street children of Saigon, I sought whenever possible to look beyond the war itself—to record the people whose inner dignity showed through the circumstances into which they were forced. Among my most haunting recollections are the faces of the street children (Bui Doi or “Dust of Life”) and their soulful stares. I have attempted to preserve this aspect of the war lest it might be forgotten—to all our losses.
Dr. Kenneth Hoffman teaches photography and multimedia at Seton Hall University in the College of Communication & the Arts. Photographs from his Vietnam collection were featured in the national road tour production of the musical, Miss Saigon. His photographs have appeared in diverse venues including, Channel 13, The Journal for Education in Photojournalism, The Newark Star Ledger, The Morris County Daily Record, Endeavors Magazine, MSNBC, WNET, PhotoPlace Gallery, ASMP-NJ annual Photography Exhibit, the State House in Trenton, and various galleries throughout New Jersey.
Exhibit funded in part by
Seton Hall University, College of Communication & the Arts