At a Glance
“Theravada” Photos of Angkor Wat by Nathan Horton. Opens April 5 at The FCC Phnom Penh.
Nathan Horton just can’t get enough of the Angkor temples.
Originally from London, the Phnom Penh-based photographer has taken thousands of photos of the alluring temples that were once home to the Khmer empire.
The best of Horton’s work will be on display at the FCC Phnom Penh in an exhibition titled “Theravada,” which opens Apr. 5 and runs through May. The exhibition marks Horton’s third Phnom Penh showing and his second at the FCC.
Horton doesn’t just focus on the architectural grandeur of Angkor, but he also incorporates the local residents of Siem Reap province who still use the temples as a place of spiritual devotion.
“I hope the exhibition will remind us that Angkor was a place of religious teaching and remains a place for mindful contemplation,” Horton says. The exhibition coincides with the launch of Horton’s monthly, long-weekend photography workshops and tours to Angkor Wat. The first is scheduled for Apr. 8.
“The whole weekend is a combination of workshops and tours designed for participants to think about photography in different ways, take pictures in more creative ways and then present pictures in more professional ways,” Horton says.
Horton’s photography isn’t just restricted to the Angkor temples, and he has found himself focusing his camera lens on many other aspects of Cambodia.
“It’s not difficult to take good pictures in Cambodia and the iconic status of Angkor Wat and it’s surrounding temples is the obvious place to start, but it also seems to me that every corner I turn I am presented me with something equally beautiful and curious to photograph,” Horton wrote on his website. “Cambodia has been stuck in its difficult past for too long and is now reaching out for a brighter future at break neck speed. Photographically it is often finding that juxtaposition of the new and the old in the same frame that makes so many scenes intriguing.”
With a combination of the temples and the clutter of the urban environment, he says it is the people of Cambodia that he aims to show the foreign visitors who take his photography tours.
In 1990 Horton graduated with a B.A honours degree in Film, Photography and Video from The Polytechnic of Central London. Since then he has become a widely published photographer, with his work appearing in a diverse range of UK magazines.
In fact, it was a commission with Food & Travel in 2006 that led Horton to Cambodia. Like so many other visitors, Horton fell in love with the country. And after flying home, it was only a matter of days before he was plotting his Cambodian return.
“I was only in London for a couple of weeks before I was making plans to go back to Phnom Penh. Within a year I had moved my whole life here.”