Lives at the Market – Worlds collide and mingle at Psar Tuol Tom Pong in Phnom Penh. It’s a local market selling all manner of things from vegetables and fish to auto parts and paint, but half of the space is devoted to a thriving trade with tourists. Many vendors have been there since just after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979. The series focuses on market life, especially for the vendors and their families, who spend a majority of their time living and working there.
Justees, T-Shirts for Justice – Justees is a remarkable business located in a Phnom Penh slum. It employs young guys in hard situations so they earn enough money to stay in school. More than a job or program, it’s a community changing lives without frills or fireworks. All the guys discussed together and gave their informed permission to be photographed for the series. Learn more and order Justees worldwide at www.justees.org.
Home, a Cambodian story – These photos were originally published in Cambodia in a book by the same title. It tells the inspiring story of two children sent to an orphanage who find a way home again with help along the way. The photos attempt to capture the strength of Cambodian families and the importance of having a family for every child. You can learn more about the book and find links to purchase the digital version here.
Making Shadows – This story was shot at Sovanna Phum Art Association in Phnom Penh. It captures some of the process of making shadow puppets plus glimpses of the culture and life behind the scenes. Each shadow puppet is made by hand starting with purchasing a pig skin at 5:30 one morning. Before being used in a performance, a priest leads a ceremony to “open their eyes.” Kosal, the director, is one of the few master puppet makers in Cambodia.
Behind the Curtain at Sovanna Phum – Sovanna Phum is a great place to see traditional Cambodian performing arts in Phnom Penh. The community of artists there embraces students and professional artists who have traveled the world and endured lean times together. Sometimes the perform for a packed house; other nights only twenty guests arrive, but the show goes on. This series offers a glimpse of the performers from the other side of the curtain.
Signs of Life in Tokyo – I lived in Japan for nine years. I saw a lots overworked, tired people and drab concrete, but I also saw many signs of vitality. These are some of my favorite glimpses of life in Japan; they are images that seem to make a statement. Many are photos of children and youth that I took when I was out with my daughters. Honestly, this is a slice of life that cuts away from the painful parts. Nonetheless, it’s a real one.