Rising Tanle Sap (2012)

Year: 2012
80 x 120cm
Digital C-Print
Edition of 5 + 1AP

The freshwater Tonle Sap River and Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia have a rich landscape of various ecosystems and cultures. The Mekong River, which runs from the icy plateaus of Tibet through much of mainland South East Asia, feeds and is fed by the Tonle Sap River and Lake. During monsoon, when the Mekong is at its highest, it meets the Tonle Sap in the heart of Phnom Penh causing it to change direction – the only river in the world to do so – pushing water back to the great Tonle Sap Lake, which in turn feeds a dependent flood plain.

For Riverscapes IN FLUX, I took numerous trips up and down the Tonle Sap, and stayed at select sites with families for many days at a time. I became particularly interested in the great visual diversity of the riverscape but also how the global phenomena and phrase “climate change” is understood and adapted to locally by the people living on or near the river.

To combine these interests, I decided to intervene on the riverscape with a humble, unnatural happening: ice floating in the waters of a subtropical climate. The quiet and fantastical photographs were staged with the great help from the communities in each location. Their fragile surroundings are the variances in my compositions of industrial ice melting under the hot sun, rising the Tonle Sap.