18 August, 2013 – 31 January, 2014
Tamarind Village Chiang Mai, which regularly hosts cultural events and exhibitions related to local culture, is pleased to collaborate with Reeves’s on his latest project. The enchanting images of ‘Hidden Realms, Sacred Spaces’, reveal the magic and poetry of places rarely captured these days, inviting us to delve into a world beyond what the eye can see to discover the beauty of cultures and beliefs lost in a long time ago. The exhibition will be on display through January 31, 2014.
Reeves’s life-changing journey began some 27 years ago on a nine week trip through India where he discovered not only his love for Asia but the beauty of shooting with Kodak infra-red black and white film. This specialty film produces results which could nowadays be mistaken for the effects of computer manipulation, due to the otherworldly quality it imparts to images - but it is not. Infrared black-and-white film’s unique emulsion is sensitive to infrared light, a portion of light from the bandwidth invisible to the naked eye. After processing, it becomes an ordinary black-and-white negative, and yet it reveals in a photo, light from a world hidden from us, beyond the rainbow spectrum of colours. Using this film, images take on a soft, dream-like dimension perfectly suited to Reeves’s favourite subjects:
ruined temples, crumbling statuary and Buddhist monasteries, remote landscapes and the people that inhabit them. Since making his home in Thailand in 1996, the photographer, who is also a filmmaker, has worked with Discovery Channel Asia to create a series of short documentary films about the Black Hmong people set in mountainous north Vietnam. He also wrote and published the book, ‘Angkor: Into The Hidden Realm’ on the temples of Angkor which he began photographing back in 1992 when Cambodia was still suffering under the crippling influence of the Khmer Rouge. Four of his photographs were later selected by Cambodia’s King, H.R.H Norodom Sihamoni as state gifts. In 2007, Reeves was also invited to contribute work to the celebrated, ‘Thailand: 9 Days In The Kingdom’ book project, a stunning pictorial review of Thai life and culture
THE EXHIBITION - A SENSE OF PLACE
Tamarind Village Chiang Mai, which regularly hosts cultural events and exhibitions related to local culture, is pleased to collaborate with Reeves’s on his latest project. The enchanting images of ‘Hidden Realms, Sacred Spaces’, reveal the magic and poetry of places rarely captured these days, inviting us to delve into a world beyond what the eye can see to discover the beauty of cultures and beliefs lost in a time long ago. The exhibition will be on display through January 31, 2014.
The exhibition’s 35 striking images take the viewer on a journey across Southeast Asia to some of the region’s most sacred and enigmatic sites. Hands of the Buddha of Wat Wisunalat in the UNESCO heritage town of Luang Prabang is one of the highlight in the series of Loas region’s photographs. This image display a standing posture with long arms and hands pointed downwards which is locally referred to as ‘Phra Kor Fon’ or the ‘Buddha Calling for the Rains’ posture. The name and style is unique to Laos and hints at the close relationship between religious belief and the planting cycle of a traditional, agricultural society.
The image featuresTwo of four towering Buddhas face out to the cardinal directions from the Kyaik Pun Pagoda in Pegu, Burma is one of our outstanding photographs. The colossal images, each 30 meters high, represent the four great Buddhas of the world cycle(of which Siddhartha Gautama, the Saykamuni Buddha was the fourth). Built in the 15th century by King Dhammazedi, it remains one of the most significant Buddhist sites in the former capital of Pegu (Bago). The long ear lobes of the images which extend down to the shoulders, indicate one of the physical
attributes of a living Buddha. Photographed from below against a backdrop of white clouds and clear sky, the Buddhas’ faces hint at the serenity of self-renunciation and following the Eight-Fold Path.
Another highlight of the exhibition, the photographer encountered in his journey in Cambodia, Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom is the city founded by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century was the largest and most ambitious Khmer city ever built. It was surrounded by a walled moat pierced by gates on each of its sides and traversed by bridges lined with statues representing the Hindu myth The Churning of the Sea of Milk Apsara (angels) carved from sandstone stand to one side of the bridge directly opposite their adversaries, the fierce asuras (demons). Together, they pull at the body of a naga snake with stern resolution to turn the magic mountain Meru, churning the cosmic ocean to create an elixir of immortality. While today much of the original sculpture has been stolen or removed for safe keeping, what remains gives the visitor a lasting impression of the beliefs and the monumental scale of construction of this ancient world.
All 35 photographs on display reflect Reeves fascination with Asia’s mysticism and the magnetic power of its holy places, many of which are today in danger of disappearing or changing rapidly and beyond recognition.