Roland Eng, Kenro Izu, John McDermott, Siem Reap, 2009.
Hardcover, dj., 256 pp., 113 bw illustrations, 12x12” x 1.5 inches.
According to The New York Times, John McDermott is "the Ansel Adams of Angkor.... His pictures are not just beautiful but iconic... dreamlike photos, which look as though they were taken in an ancient, forgotten world... becoming, in essence, the defining images of Angkor." McDermott's magical images let us enter an Angkor that is rapidly vanishing: the hidden realm of temples lost in the forest, a nineteenth century explorer's dream. He first came to Angkor in 1995 to witness a total eclipse of the sun. Inspired by the surreal, otherworldly light of the eclipse, he returned again and again over the next several years to create a definitive artistic portrait of the ancient Khmer temples. McDermott's photographs capture a unique moment in the history of Angkor: a pause on the cusp of their transition from remote jungle ruins to high profile international destination. In his images you can still wander solitary and alone through the giant stone causeway to a slumbering Angkor Wat, or watch in silence as a nun lights incense at a sunlit stupa. Created in a fourteen-year labor of love, Elegy is the definitive collection of McDermott's Angkor photography, with over 100 photographs.