Some of the global talents on display at this year’s Angkor Photo Festival explore Southeast Asia’s past, while others frame a gratifying future
Text by Hannah Jewitt
The exposure to Southeast Asia offered by this year’s Angkor Photo Festival is frank yet reflective, with an assortment of themes creating a picture of the region that is far from black and white.
Candid shots by photographers such as Gianluca Pulcini, Athit Perawongmetha and Andri Tambunan appeal in their depictions of a prosperous future, where development carries both a positive and negative transformation. Meanwhile Balinese Indra Widi’s images straddle the beauty of tradition and hard labour, with an emphasis on gratitude throughout the portfolio.
Linus Escandor and Pete Pin, whose photographs underline violation and hardship, offer alternative angles to life in the region. Further examples of the human struggle are found in Thierry Falise’s work “Burmese Shadows”, whose images combine a “refusal to give up ethnic identities, cultural traditions or democratic aspirations”. Similar contrasts are found in Singaporean Nguan’s work, which bluntly grasps a sense of “urban yearning”– the uncanny feeling of isolation within one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant cities.
Without doubt, the eighth annual photographic exhibition offers a panorama that crosses historical and geographical borders.
Once again this year’s Angkor Photo Festival (December 1-8) will offer free admission to exhibitions and slideshows of photographic images in its endeavour to focus the world’s attention on photography in Southeast Asia. As usual, the festival has an educational goal, with photographers of international standing mentoring a number of young Southeast Asian photographers. A new addition to the festival, Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant, provides financial backing to Asian photographers. For more information see angkorphotofestival.wordpress.com