The Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Beverly Hills exhibits “Elegy: Reflections on Angkor” by John McDermott until March 12, 2011. Archival pigment prints, from sepia-toned religious pictorials to silver gelatin landscapes with backlighting and foreground shadowing line the all white gallery walls of Sundaram Tagore on South Santa Monica Boulevard.
John McDermott’s life-altering quest, originally in search of an eclipse sighting, has morphed into an epic journey of preservation and exploration. After 10 years of periodically traveling back and forth to the stone temples of Angkor through civil war and genocide, McDermott composed a collection of monochromatic photographs; using black and white film and processed through dynamic darkroom interpretation; “mirror the dark, mysterious spirit of a place that has little recorded history other than the bas-relief carvings that cover the stones” (Sundaram Tagore Gallery Press). McDermott’s dramatic use of light and shadow captures the treasured but haunted past of these intensely dark ruins of monumental size in a manner that will excite even the smallest urge to survey uncharted territory in pursuit of saving endangered lands. Displayed in the gallery is a mixture of ethnic imagery and lifestyle shots of natives, monks, and youngsters.
The book, “Elegy: Reflections on Angkor” has gained notoriety around the world and his features in publications like The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune have also helped spread word of the series. An Arkansas born but now Cambodian native, John McDermott’s “Elegy: Reflections on Angkor” can also be seen in the New York and Hong Kong Sundaram Tagore Galleries as well as on the permanent display at the National Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and several international private collections.
Sundaram Tagore Gallery is located at 9606 South Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.