Seeing across borders

in Mrauk U – July 2012

Just before leaving for a trip to Asia,  I reviewed a show at the Peabody Essex Museum that was all about how Europeans’ visions of China gave certain Chinese works a boost in the art market — works with  goldfish, for example, were popular sellers — and sometimes even spawned new genres, like watercolors chronicling the various stages of tea and silk production.   Now every time I raise my camera and frame a photograph I think of just what it is that I am choosing and how my notions of Myanmar (mostly based on my trip here in 1977 when it was still known as Burma) shape the country that I (want to) see.

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