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Collision of past and present

PHOTO PHNOM PENH
Krysztof Zielinski revisits the past in his portraits of his old home village, on show at the Royal University of Phnom Penh until December 12.

POLISH photographer Krysztof Zielinski takes us back into the past, photographing the primary school of his home village, in an exhibition at the Royal University of Phnom Penh this week.

Zielinski, who now lives in Berlin but keeps returning to Poland, found his inspiration by coincidence.

“I took some pictures by chance and I was shocked seeing them,” he said. The 20 pictures that are on display are unbelievably colourful and pay a rare attention to detail.

And these images are very far from what the artist had in mind as he went to school during Communist rule. “It was as if I had to explore a place that I knew but that I didn’t know,” he added.

Zielinski said he cared about the relation between the image and the audience. “In this series, people can imagine their own school,” he suggested.

The artist is not so focused on the strict technical details of photography – he sees his images as more an art work, focusing on details such as texture, patina, and colour. In the three next years, he wants to follow this path, making pictures about his vision of his country – coming from Poland, but feeling at odds with the contrast between past and present.

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