Revealing Buddhism’s secrets

Revealing Buddhism’s secrets

100101_sr14a
Khmer monks meet Burmese nuns in 4Faces’ latest photography exhibition. JANOS KIS (left) and GEOFF CROLL (right)

Khmer monks meet Burmese nuns in 4Faces’ latest photography exhibition. JANOS KIS (left) and GEOFF CROLL (right)

Two photographers will go toe to toe this Saturday, January 2, as 4Faces gallery unveils its newest photography exhibition Sacred…And the Nun’s Life: Janos Kis vs Geoff Croll at 7pm. The show will feature photos of the sacred tattoos of Khmer monks, by Kis, juxtaposed with Croll’s photos of the daily lives of Burmese nuns.

Pictures will be displayed in the 4Faces style of a storyboard strip with a beginning, middle and end. The unifying theme will be Buddhism and spirituality – and it’s not really a competition.

“We gave them an item in common, and then let them figure out how to shoot it,” says Eric de Vries, co-owner of 4Faces and a photographer himself. De Vries and a few other photographers – Kis, Croll, Jean-Francois Perigois and Steve Goodman – recently formed a new photo collective called SEA/collectiv that will be headquartered in Siem Reap.

They left their old agency, Asia Motion, and formed SEA/collectiv because they felt their former organisation focused too narrowly on Phnom Penh.

Hungarian photographer Kis has arranged for some of the monks he photographed to attend and bless the show, although he’s not positive they’ll show up. Persuading the monks to be photographed was no easy task either. “I had to hire a fixer to find the monks and then had to explain exactly why I wanted to do it,” says Kis.

Both portfolios highlight forbidden or secret aspects of Buddhist life. Monks usually hide their tattoos under their robes and don’t allow many to see them while the daily lives of Burmese nuns are a mystery to outsiders.

The exhibition will be awash with the two main robe colours: the burnt orange of Khmer monks and the bright pink of Burmese nuns.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at