Fifteen North American photographers celebrate the new decade immersed in the remote cultures, ancient temple architecture, stunning landscapes, and UNESCO World Heritage sites of Cambodia and Myanmar, Southeast Asia’s second largest county (formerly known as Burma). Under the direction of photographer and educator Rick Murai of Penn Valley, California, and in partnership with Myths and Mountains, each participant on this excursion captures unique and personal interpretations of urban and rural historical sites and cultural landmarks defining these Southeast Asian countries. Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s politically charged capital, and Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields – sobering testaments to the Khmer Rouge – are visited, as is Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar.
The cultural riches of Siem Reap’s temples, markets, and Cambodian village life in the sprawling ancient religious city of Angkor Wat are studied through the camera lens. The sprawling, gold spired Schwedigon Pagoda, the most sacred temple in Yangon, which welcomes tens of thousands of pilgrims each year, is visually compared to several of the thousands of frescoed pagodas dotting the expansive Bagan sacred center (and former capital) along its expansive plain. Floating villages, farming communities, and their respective habitants are studied via the camera, as are the distinctive Intha leg rowers of the ecologically important Inle Lake, situated at an elevation of 2,900 ft.
Viewpoint Photographic Art Center invites you to share in this photographic journey begun on January 2nd, 2011. Opening March 9th, in the Step Up Gallery, the exhibit continues through April 2nd. Various camera formats and photographic mediums chosen by each of the fifteen photographers capture the essence of these cultural and historical landmarks during early morning seclusion, midday illumination, and evening tranquility. Participants of this photographic journey will informally discuss their myriad experiences, keen discoveries, and photographic challenges encountered while touring these two Southeast Asian countries with gallery visitors during the March 11th Members, Guests, and Friends reception and the March 12th Second Saturday opening.
Viewpoint is pleased to be partnering with Myths and Mountains, a recipient of National Geographic’s Top 10 Best Adventure Travel Companies, and recognized by Condé Nast and Outdoor Magazine for its luxury adventure travel.
Rick Murai, Excursion Leader – Penn Valley, California
Vicki Bayne – Auburn, California
Toma Lee Blowers – Antioch, Illinois
Joe Cressman – Oak Park, Illinois
Anita Frimkess Fein – Sacramento, California
Larry Fein – Sacramento, California
Bruce Gregory – Meadow Vista, California
Virginia Bly Johnson – Pope Valley, California
Reverdy Johnson – Pope Valley, California
Marta Kravech – Sacramento, California
Sara Mortimer – Vigo, Guam
Abram Sitzer – Taipei, Taiwan/Shanghai, China
Anna Skacel – Sacramento, California
Steve Solinsky – Nevada City, California
Susan Solinsky – Nevada City, California
Rick Murai’s photographs reflect his fascination with documenting sacred sites of the world. The January, 2011 photographic excursion is his fourth visit to Southeast Asia. An intense global curiosity has encouraged travel throughout Asia, India, South America, the Middle East, Russia, Oceania, and Western Europe, accompanied by photographic workshops in Southeast Asia, the Western United States, Ireland and Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and Morocco.
Selected pieces of Mr. Murai’s portfolios from Cambodia and Myanmar have appeared in Lenswork, Camera Arts, Photographer’s Forum, and SilverShotz International. A recipient of the 2008 Travel Photographer of the Year / One Shot, Mr. Murai was also awarded publication in the Travel Photographer of the Year 2010 Annual. Recent photographic work from Bhutan and Laos is featured in an online interview with Lensbaby.com, and in the June/July 2010 issue of Digital Photography.
Rising Dawn, Inle Lake, Myanmar — ©Toma Lee Blowers
Reflections, Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia — © Virginia Bly Johnson
Child's Play, Cambodia — © Marta Kravech
Jasmine Offering, Schwezigon Paya, Bagan, Myanmar — © Rick Murai
Sunset Cattle Drive, Bagan, Myanmar — © Sara Mortimer
Bagan Sunrise — © Abram Sitzer
Burmese Eyes — © Anna Skacel
Earth Robes, Monastery Garden, Thailand — © Steve Solinsky