Modern Laos through the lenses of Lao photographers

Published on July 24, 2012

Some 65 studies by young Lao photographers and photojournalists reflect the daily life of Lao people, scenery and culture set in an exhibition called Laos Today which recently opened at the Project Space Gallery in Luang Prabang province.

The exhibition is planned to run from now until August 5. It opened following the success of the first exhibition which was shown in Vientiane, receiving a good response. Now visitors in Luang Prabang have the chance to observe and discover the meaning of Laos Today through the perspective of young Lao photographers.

The Laos Today photo exhibition grew out of a workshop for Lao photojournalists organised by the US Embassy, the Lao Journalists’ Association, and Lang Korng Photo Club in October 2011. After the workshop, the 14 participants were issued with cameras and encouraged to do cument the world around them. They rose to that challenge, and the photos on display in this exhibit are the result.

Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy to Laos, Angela Dickey said, “We came together to open an exhibition called Laos Today. This is very interesting to me because it’s my second time in Laos, the first being in 2000-2002. When I came back last year I was thinking about the old days, and came to realise that I really like old things, but it’s also an exciting time to be in Laos, because things are changing here very quickly.”

“This exhibition shows that we are not living in the Laos I first saw 12 years ago nor are we in the Laos of tomorrow yet. So we try to figure out where we are. We are in Laos today. I think all these pictures are reflective of what’s happening in the country right now.”

Apart from showing photographs by Lao photojournalists, this exhibition also features photos by members of Lang Korng (Behind the Lens), a group founded by photography enthusiasts only two years ago. Its members have already made their mark with several successful photo exhibitions, and this display adds to their growing reputation as the best chroniclers of modern Laos.

“I hope these photojournalists will continue their work and I think one day in the future they might have their works not only displayed in Laos but outside the country, as the US embassy is very proud to work and help Lao photojournalism and journalism in general in Laos,” she said.

This exhibition makes it abundantly clear that a new generation of Lao photographers and photojournalists are ready to step to the fore and carry out their most important job of photography, to show the public moments of great significance occurring in everyday life.

Source: Vientiane Times
By Times Reporters
July 24, 2012