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Catwalking on the tarmac

Laure Vasconi and her students were able to photograph models on the airport runway. Photo supplied
Laure Vasconi and her students were able to photograph models on the airport runway. Photo supplied

Catwalking on the tarmac

A photography show opening at the French Institute on Saturday will feature dozens of fashion images shot in an unconventional location: Phnom Penh’s Pochentong International Airport.

The exhibition of work by French photographer Laure Vasconi and seven students from Phnom Penh’s Studio Images will cap a monthlong residency in the Kingdom for Vasconi.

The group of photographers, designers Em Riem and Eric Raisina, makeup artists and models – donning orange security vests – were allowed access to the airport across three long weekends in April.

The resulting images are striking and creative: models pose in large skirts on the tarmac at night or inside on a luggage conveyer belt, wrapped up in tape.

Most of the photographers, including Vasconi herself, had little experience with fashion photography, which – from makeup to lighting setup – required much more preparation than they were used to.

The residency marked the third residency for the French Institute and the first trip to Cambodia for Vasconi, who works primarily in documentary photography.

“I was so lucky to get to know Cambodia through these students,” she said. The exhibition is presented in partnership with Studio Images, which is sponsored by Cambodia airports.

The photography exhibition Offbeat Looks on Fashion opens at the French Institute tomorrow at 5pm and runs through May 22.

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