Veteran photog reflects on summit

Veteran photog reflects on summit

Photo by: Michael Hayes

Veteran photographer Paul Tedjasurya recalls that Norodom Sihanouk’s wife was beautiful back in 1955.

Tucked away on a quiet lane in labyrinthine south Bandung where modest homes have neatly manicured lawns the size of king-sized beds, veteran photographer Paul Tedjasurya recalls a lifetime full of memorable images.

Having spent 57 years as a full-time photographer, Tedjasurya, now 78 and retired, was literally on the front lines of history back in 1955.

As a young 25-year-old, who had decided to spend his career as a photographer only four years previously, he was one of a few Bandung-based freelancers on hand for the historic Asia-Africa conference.

"I took all the leaders' pictures ... Nehru, Chou En-Lai, Sihanouk," says Tedjasurya, recalling that the delegation heads walked from the Hotel Savoy Homann to the conference centre only a few blocks away, giving the press an opportunity get some good shots.

"Sukarno was a great man ... he had great charisma," he recalls when describing the photo he took of the Indonesian president.

Back then, before television was available, newspapers didn't have full-time photographers, says Tedjasurya. "Before I took a photo I had to think, ‘Is this a good photo or not?' because I had to sell it to a newspaper. Film was expensive ... not like now with digital when you can take hundreds."    

In 2005, at celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, Tedjasurya was feted as the only surviving Indonesian photographer to attend the event.  

Interviewed by the Indonesian press, one of his memories became a headline for an article on his reflections. It reads:  Istri Norodom Sihanouk cantik  (Norodom Sihanouk's wife is beautiful).

He showed this reporter a copy of the article and then helped him figure out how to work his new camera to get a decent image. "No, no, use this function, you'll get a better picture in this light," he explained patiently to cub photographer Hayes with a smile.    

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to