In the sweltering belt between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer lies the jewel of Southeast Asia. This place of dreams is called Burma. I first came here in 2001 with friends and stepped into a time warp that transported me to a place of mystery wrapped in intrigue and swaddled in the kindness of Buddhism.
After exploring the capital of Yangon, I felt the pull of the timeless temples and pagodas that dot the landscape of the magical place called Bagan. By the time we arrived, it felt like we were back in time. I was hooked. One trip to Bagan and you are hooked. Your only thought is when will I return?
Venturing out at sunrise one morning with my friends, it was fate that I had found the most beautiful little princess I had ever seen. San San became my new best friend in a country that would later become the center of my universe. Wearing fresh Thanaka face paint and a red flower from her mother, I knew something special was about to happen.
With the beautiful soft light of sunrise, San San joined me atop the temple next to their tiny wooden hut. I think my extreme love affair with this one-of-a-kind country began the moment I looked through my viewfinder and saw her stunning little face.
I found myself intrigued by wanting to capture her with my wide angle lens amid the endless sea of pagodas in every direction. When she looked away and into the distance, I knew I had found something beyond words. Something that had eluded me until that moment.
What Cartier Bresson called the “Decisive Moment.” This precious little five-year-old opened my eyes to the heart and soul of this very special country that has been kicked and beaten down for over twenty centuries. The landscape is nonstop eye candy in every direction but it is the people of Burma that steal your heart. San San has my heart.
Location: Bagan, Burma
Photograph Date: 2001
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Available Sizes: 70cm – 100cm