Ore Huiying November 3, 2014Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Laos.
The one and only 3.5 km railway line on the Laos/ Thai border 2011
Ore Huiying (b.1982, Singapore) moved to the UK in 2010 and completed her MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. Three years later she returned to Singapore as her photography is focused on investigating the development of Southeast Asian societies in the global context. Her work have been published in Le Monde, Liberation, The British Journal of Photography, Ojo de Pez and the BBC. Ore was named one of the ten emerging photographers in Singapore and was selected to participate in the First Asian Women Photographers’ Showcase at the Angkor Photo Festival. Last year, she was nominated for the Sagamihara Photo City’s Asia Prize (Japan) and received a Select Award in the Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award. She is currently based in Singapore.
About the Photograph:
“This image is part of a series in progress The Eternal Fatigue of an Incomplete Dream that aims to explore the dichotomy of Laos’ culture that is on the brink of change. It depicts the end of a railway track at Laos’ first and only train station. The existing track is only 3.5km, crossing over the Mekong River from Thailand and ends at the border of Laos. Poor and landlocked Laos harbors a grand ambition to build a high-speed railway line that would connect it to neighboring China in the north. For a country where no train has run except for an abandoned short portage railway built by its former colonial master, this is a mammoth task- one driven by the government’s desire to open up the country and tap into its abundant natural resources.”
“My first trip to Laos was in 2010, where I photographed the same scene in the digital format. I went back subsequently every year. This particular image was taken in 2011, when I had started to shoot the series in the medium format. Nothing has changed over the years. On several occasions, the Laos government were in talks with the Chinese government to come on board the high-speed railway project; yet no deal was made. With a lack of funding and technical knowledge, Laos faces constant frustrations to progress beyond its 3.5km railway track. In my most recent trip to Laos in March 2014, I discovered that construction has started in the land behind the depicted scene. However, the new construction is not due to an extension of the track, it’s for a new road. The ambitious high-speed railway project remains a dream. Yet one thing is for sure, change is coming, even to isolated Laos.”
Todd Sanchioni July 15, 2013Posted 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. “
KC Ortiz January 31, 2011Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Laos.
Three Generations of Hmong in their Hidden Camp, Laos, 2010
KC Ortiz (b.1978, USA) is a self taught freelance photojournalist with a split base between Chicago and Western Thailand. His interest in photography grew while serving time in prison where he absorbed any and all photographs he could get his hands on, mostly through dated newspapers and magazines. After a year and a half of working in construction and then as a graphic designer, in 2008 he bought his first camera and began his work, with a focus on under reported issues and over looked people. His work has appeared in A-magasinet, Global Post, The Independent, The Irrawaddy, Juxtapoz, Time.com, and others. He has exhibited in Canada, Korea, the UK, and the USA.
About the Photograph:
“In late 2009 through early 2010 I spent time with the jungle Hmong in Laos, where this photo was shot. The Hmong living in the jungles of Laos are the left over remnants of a war long ago fought and finished. They were recruited by the CIA during the Vietnam war to fight Vietnamese and Laotian communist forces in Laos on behalf of the US in what is known as “The Secret War”. After the Americans pulled out of the region in defeat, they left the majority of the Hmong behind to fend for themselves. While the rest of the world has forgotten about the Hmong, the Lao People’s Army (LPA) has not, they hunt them to this day in retribution for the Hmong having sided with the USA.”
Mathias Depardon December 8, 2010Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Laos.
Xiang Khoang Province, Northern Laos 2007
Mathias Depardon (b.1980, France) studied Communication and Sociology in Brussels and briefly joined the Belgian national newspaper Le Soir before devoting himself to reportage and feature work. He later traveled for a year in Southeast Asia working as a freelance photographer focusing on the fate of migrants, political and climate refugees. His work is been published in Le Monde Magazine among other magazines and newspapers. He’s been collaborating with MSF, Amnesty International and other NGO’s. Mathias is part of the ‘emerging talent’ at Getty Reportage. He is currently based in Switzerland.
About the Photograph:
“The livelihood of ethnic minorities living in the mountains of Laos has been threatened by alarmingly high food insecurity and chronic malnutrition rates. This vulnerability is linked to a structural context as well as natural and political events. Rural development is one of the top national priorities for the Laos PDR government. I shot this frame with an Holga. It was my first experience with this camera. I like the middle format film, plus it was light and compact and very intuitive as to shot with. Back then I couldn’t afford a middle format camera and so I bought this camera online for cheap. I was in Laos three times with the NGO: “Action contre la Faim” This was my first reportage and it was a very sentimental one. I was meeting different people from different ethnic minorities: Lao Loum, Akha, Hmong, among others. It was a rich cultural experience but tough as well.”
Jörg Brüggemann April 17, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Laos.
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Nam Song River, Vang Vieng, Laos, 2007
Jörg Brüggemann (b.1979, Germany) began studying photography at the University of the Arts Bremen under the guidance of Professor Peter Bialobrzeski. In 2007 he formed the Kolkata Heritage Photo Project with students from his photography class which resulted in the publication of Calcutta – Chitpur Road Neighborhoods by Hatje Cantz. In July 2008 Jörg finished his studies with the project “Same Same But Different” which was published in several magazines around the world including NEON (Germany), OjodePez (Spain) and D-Magazine (Italy). He won a honorable mention at CENTER’s project competition and was invited to the 2009 Asia-Europe Emerging Photographers Forum in Kuala Lumpur. Besides freelancing in Berlin, Jörg is a project manager for the Ostkreuz photographer’s agency and photo editor for Dummy and Fluter magazine.
About the Photograph:
“Within the last decade backpacking has literally become a global youth movement. Every year millions of young people from first world countries travel the planet taking with them nothing more then their backpacks. They are hoping to find freedom, cultural exchanges and a lot of fun. It has become a tourist industry on its own that has developed its very own touristic infrastructure. In some places like Ko Pha-Ngan in Thailand, Arambol in Goa or Vang Vieng in Laos individual or alternative travel is no longer existing. It has been transfered into a different kind of packaged tour. This Photograph was taken in Vang Vieng in Laos which is the hotspot of backpacker tourism in Laos. It shows an Australian backpacker drinking a Beer Lao at the first Bar while tubing down the Nam Song. Tubing is the most popular backpacker activity in Vang Vieng.”