Lao New Year 2551 (2008) | Wat Lao Pothisaram | Conley, GA
For those of you whose photographic or cultural interest has been piqued by my photos, I do have to say that almost all of my work deals with beauty–the surface kind. It’s just a natural tendency of a creative person, or actually of anybody to want to gravitate towards pleasant looking things. Since I’m not a photojournalist (more of a documentarian) my event and landscape photos just capture a scene in a way I’d like to remember it.
If anyone outside the Lao community goes to any Lao New Year celebration or temple ceremony…reality is a bit harsher than film. It might not be as nice as the photos make it to be. Just like how a southwest desert landscape can reveal some stunning color, it’s over those hills and across the border, that we ignore the squalor that most impoverished people live in. This is but one of the many places where we Lao people gather, worship, and party. Humble grounds that are one part fairground, one part church, community kitchen, monastery, concert hall–I know, the Lao temple in the modern context is a complicated thing.
It’s like going over to a friend’s house whose family is less fortunate than others, please just show some respect and kindness.
Random Notes: Weather was great this past weekend, albeit sandwiched by some bad storms on the southside of town. Backdrop textiles for the booth were from Laos. Speedlight in a softbox. All the little dancers did a great job.
For more information on the history and mythology of the Lao New Year celebration, please check out this writer’s site. It might answer questions like: Why a “beauty” pageant? and Why’s everyone splashing water?