I‘ve been to Cambodia in 2009 for the first time and apart from its beauty and treasures like Angkor you won‘t be able to overlook its terrible past.
The wounds of the Khmer Rouge horrors where between 1.7 and 2.2 million Cambodians were killed by their own people can still be seen in every day life. A lot of people in the streets have obvious scars, lost legs or arms or even their eyes due to the tortures and the millions of landmines, that are still a big problem even today. But nearly every Cambodian has its own sad story to tell.
It was even more the positive attitude the Cambodians express that stirred me, fascinated me and left me with deep respect. It also makes you think about what we people in the western world consider as problems. When you compare it to Cambodians and their fate it‘s somehow embarrassing or at least becomes relative.
I wanted to one day come back and try to capture this optimism and happiness that the Khmer people have and that is so intriguing. It almost seems this terrible past has made them even stronger now and nothing really could harm them anymore. But the people carry it calmly without self-pity and leave you deeply impressed by what I call „The Khmer Smile“.
The exhibition will show a selection of portraits of people I met on my journey in autumn 2013 and the many interviews I did during this time.
Opening event will be Saturday, 31 May 2014, at Galerie erstererster in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg and I‘d love you to come and click your glasses to my second exhibition and the realization of a wonderful and very personal project. There is also a facebook event here.
The exhibition will run till 17 June 2014.
Hope to see all of you!