Catherine Griss is a sensitive street photographer who lives and works in Paris.
After photographing the ruins of french colonial power in Cambodia (devastated villas in Kampot, Kep )and Senegal, she decided to come to Burma and mainly Yangon because of its British colonial style heritage and because of this special time of emerging democracy in a world of increasing globalisation.
After great travellers like Rudyard Kipling, Pierre Loti, Pablo Neruda, she first visited the country as a traveller in 1997. But she returned in 2011 and then again in 2012 with the intention of photographing and framing the transition. She is currently in her third photographic visit.
The theme of this exhibition is the old world’s presence in the beginning of a new world. There are three main chapters. The first is the Evolution of Yangon, the walls of old and new buildings, river banks and lifestyles.
In The Golden Pagodas (from the French Writer Pierre Loti novel), rather than the architecture, she focused on the people who visited the pagodas, taking time out to find peace in the golden halls of Shwedagon.
The Readers documents the Myanmar people’s love for reading, walking through downtown, she noticed many people catching up with news or getting lost in a book. This culture seems to be vanishing with the advent of mobile phones.
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