2016 / People / Culture

the khmer; the timeless scene of life.

  • Photographer
    YEOL HOI KOO

I thought about like what the sceneries in angkor heritage district of cambodia was in the imagination of most people. probably, there were only plenty of ancient temples and exotic scenery where old and big trees surrounded them. however, in my experience, this area was not only them, also the scene of local people's life. there were sometimes holy places for local monks, sometimes playgrounds for local children and sometimes living sites for local people. I want to show these varieties with this series. I could not maybe tell about all the things in there with this short series, but would try my best for it.-the khmer 01 actually, I was too tired for the trip around angkor heritage district since lots of works in korea. however, how could passion be behind of fatigue. I woke up early in the morning and carried my cameras for photogenic places.-the khmer 02 I’ve met a khmer hunchback lady in a temple in angkor heritage district. she could look somewhat weird because of her hunchback and short hair, but you would get to let the prejudged impression away after to watch her for a seconder. actually, from her gesture and expression, I first guessed that she might have many stories in her life and it must be true. however, after a while, some foreign traveling children came to inside of a temple and her face was changed to amiably. of course, she was so kind to me. many local khmer people were so kind and innocent. such kind people seemed more beautiful to me than other sightseeing sites.-the khmer 03 what a amazing this situation is. children in siem reap could play around one of the most historical sites in the world, while almost others play in a small place near their house.-the khmer 04 when you were traveling around angkor heritage areas, you could easily meet lots of local children who sold something. sometimes too many children seemed to try to stick to you for selling something and it could let you nervous. however, if you considered them with your generousity and understanding, you could find another interesting local scenery and their pretty eyes. they were daughters of someone and sisters of someone. also, it was a kind of life style of them for their family.-the khmer 05 there are lots of temples in this district, but nobody is able to meditate here. is it irony. if curious, try to meditate here. when you try to do, you will see security staff approaching you. actually, in the past, it was possible to meditate here but too many people tried to do it. so security staffs could not control them and now did they forbid it. some people from abroad could be angry with it. however, if to think carefully about it, I guessed to be able to understand its situation.-the khmer 06 whenever I faced with these things, they put me between respect and curiosity by stimulating my imagination. probably, many people used to pass by this narrow corridor. some of them could be kings, queens and their royal families. some could be people for them. others could be monks. while nobody could know what had happened here, anybody could imagine what had happened here in the past.-the khmer 07 what is the most impressive thing in the angkor heritage area. I guess it is a scenery where temples are covered by trees. these trees showed how strong the strength of nature is and how it could restore man-making-things back to the state of the nature. because it is slow but too strong, I guess it is not easy to be against it. we could make its process delayed temporarily but could not let it stopped forever.-the khmer 08 lots of renovation teams came from all around the world. however, no teams knew how to assemble those blocks of temples without cement. consequently, they should have used cement for renovation of broken structures in them. it could not be the same with the original forms. so shame for it. however, for avoiding from undergoing destruction as time went by, it could not be stopped to maintain them. these inevitable works may be in progress even now when you read this post. I think the best way to see angkor heritage sites well before the destruction by nature, before the modification by human could be to visit them not 'someday' but 'now'. I strongly recommend to travel around them as soon as possible you could. also, I planned to be in there one more time in this year.