Touching the Mekong is a visual exploration of contemporary life in those Southeast Asian countries that border, or contain within their borders, segments of the region's largest river, the Mekong.
Freelance photographer Andrea Baldeck, who traveled throughout the area in 2001-2002, presents 150 compelling images that encompass portraiture, landscapes, and still lifes, along with a brief essay that explores some of the factors that led her to explore this terrain with her camera.
The content and juxtaposition of these visual moments arrest the eye and kindle the imagination, with images grouped to create visual resonance rather by country or category. They stimulate questions and invite further exploration.
All were taken on location, unstaged, in natural light. Baldeck used no props or supplemental equipment beyond two 35mm Leica cameras.
This timely photographic study provides a visual reintroduction to lands now at peace, and in transition. It will appeal to archaeologists interested, for example, in the ruins of Angkor in Cambodia; anthropologists concerned with multiple ethnic groups and cultures, some threatened by modern development, tourism, and geopolitics; students of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism; and readers fascinated by the handicrafts and architecture of the region and especially by fine art photography.