Human Sin

We are now in Bangkok, at the end of this year’s season in Asia.  Endings are a time of reflection.  Looking back on our photographic record of the last four months is to see a time and a place bisected by our experience of it, our movement through it.  The collection of pictures also develop, metaphorically, an image of the photographer.  I have chosen a set of my favourite photos from this trip, and in this series of mini-blogs I want to present them in no particular order, with the caption I gave them, and a brief description of where and what they are.  All the pictures are on my photostream:, and I will be adding these ones to a special set as I post them.

A monk helps a woman preform penance.  This was taken at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, on a sweltering day, so being doused with water would not be the worst thing in the world.  Angkor is, perhaps, the most extraordinary ancient site in all of Asia (there are more pictures of it to come), but it is also overwhelmed by tourists.  We had just come from the grandest of the temples, Angkor Wat itself, and had bought fresh green coconuts to get re-hydrated.  Behind the souvenir and snack stalls was this small local temple, where village life was going on unaffected by, and unknown to, the millions of foreigners all around it.

I like this image because of the story implicit in it.  There is a power and gender and cultural dynamic at play that is challenging to the viewer.  I like the water splashing off the steps, and I find intriguing the woman standing in the shadows.  To me she personifies judgement, the need to maintain the status quo by making sure her own rigid morality is maintained.

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