The Old and New Photo-Exhibit was inspired by the Beautiful Ordinary Photo Contest in 2007, the brainchild of a talented Malaysian artist who was passing through Luang Prabang and discovered @ My Library. Developed as both a challenge and an opportunity for young Lao photographers to find beauty in one of the most ordinary places in Luang Prabang – the old abandoned provincial hospital – and capture and preserve through their camera’s lenses the memory of this building, it was also a very cooperative learning experience reinforced and made even more meaningful by the generous expertise shared by other professional photographers.
11 photographers participated and 7 returned to the old hospital — now a famous resort – in 2009 to retake their original photos.
Retaking their photographs was not without challenges; all of the original cameras have worn out through sheer use. Recapturing the same framing with new cameras pushed the team to develop even more skills. Different lenses challenged the photographers to recreate position, angle, and the amount of zoom as well as the light of a certain time of day. Practice and a few retakes developed an eye for fine detail and persistence, and the quality of work, both before and after, Old and New, now speaks for itself.
© Young Lao Photographers