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Todd Sanchioni July 15, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Laos.

Vientiane Laos 2010

Todd Sanchioni (1972, United States) has been capturing moments of time since attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but his motorcycle travels across the United States were his real initiation to a life of travel, art, adventure, and examining what it means to be alive. Todd settled in San Francisco for graduate school at the California Collage of the Arts. He has worked as a bike messenger, helped organize a messenger strike and assisted in disaster relief in New Orleans among other things. Todd has photographed extensively in Laos and is working with the Center for Laotian Studies on the history of Laotian refugees. His work has been featured in Maholy Ground magazine, See Saw, Landscape Stories, Esquire, Russia and NPR.

About the Photograph:

“I had been traveling for six months with my girl friend and having a great time, but as a photographer I was going crazy. It is hard to travel with some one and also be a photographer. We were both in need of a little alone time and I wanted to get into photographer mode. So we decided to split up for a month. I gave myself an assignment. I had been reading a book, written in the late 90’s, about an American traveling down the Mekong river from China to its end in Southeast Asia. When his travels took him to Laos he described it as a country 50 years behind the modern world. In one paragraph he mentioned traveling in a boat with a Lao punk band. The image I had of the situation he described remained with me. I decided to go to Laos to photograph, and also record audio, of any musician I could find. I just wanted to get my eye framing the world around me and make something happen. And maybe I would run into that punk band as I traveled around, searching.”

“This picture was taken in the capital, Vientiane, as we were circling around the Patuxai monument. I had gotten lost on my way to meet him and was really late. He was in a rush to get somewhere, so I didn’t have much time with him. With the time I had, I recorded him playing some songs first and then he had to rush off.  I didn’t leave enough time to take pictures. I wanted to make the most of the situation. I flagged down a tuk tuk to follow him as he rushed off on the back of his girlfriends’ scooter. I hung out the back of the tuk tuk to get this image and then they rode off. “