John McDermott first visited Angkor in 1995 to witness and photograph a total eclipse of the sun. Over the following years, he expanded his artistic interpretation of temples throughout the region of Southeast Asia, working with the serendipity of light and shadow to create images that capture the essence of these magnificent holy structures.
The New York Times said “his pictures are not just beautiful but iconic. . . . dreamlike photos, which look as though they were taken in an ancient, forgotten world." John McDermott’s 15-year project culminated in his book Elegy: Reflections on Angkor, the definitive collection of his iconic monochrome images of Cambodia’s ancient ruins.
Originally a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, in the U.S., John worked in editorial and commercial studio photography for a number of years. After a brief hiatus working in the feature film industry in Los Angeles, he travelled to Asia in 1993 and found himself back behind the camera working as the chief photographer at a magazine in Bangkok. While photographing the region John felt drawn to its historical and sacred sites. Over the last twenty one years Southeast Asia has been his home, and John has crossed the region many times in search of places that retain their timeless integrity. As he developed his fine art series of Asia, John found himself spending more and more time in Cambodia. He eventually made Siem Reap his home in 2003, where he and his wife, Narisara Murray, have two international caliber galleries. John continues to photograph projects across the region.
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