What is it about much of Asia that fascinates and enchants so many westerners? Come with me along Any Street in Kolkatta, Ha Noi, Mandalay, Phnom Penh, Pakse... I'll show you.
by Robert Joiner
Having lived, worked and travelled in South-east and Southern Asia and
Indo-China for many years my fascination with the different, and sometimes
quaint, has taken me on a journey to discover just what it is About Asia.
It would probably be relatively easy to portray the developing world in a
negative and disparaging light. The ravages of recent, often brutal
conflict, wide-spread poverty and the inequities resulting from inadequate
governance can provide ample and dramatic fodder for the reporter.
But this book is not about those things. And while it is never my intention
to put a gloss on reality or to blur the truth, I set out to show that,
despite the many impediments to progress, as defined in western terms,
there is much to that we can learn from, and much to be appreciated about
life in these regions.
In the spirit of good, professional reportage, I have strived to be fair.
Situations that may appear to us as sad, quaint or at times humorous, I
have always tried to depict through positive images. Above all I have
endeavoured to bring you, the audience, enlightening, informative and sound
144 pages of really good photography of real life in Asia. Those already
familiar with these parts will no doubt find more than a few "Aha's" within
these pages and those yet to experience Asia will surely be charmed and
enchanted by many of my subjects and the places that are their homes.
New Zealand photo-journalist Robert Joiner has spent much of his career as a documentary photographer in television, film and print media. Interest in a broader spectrum of creative projects led to university studies in the field of Arts Management and subsequent work in that area for about seven years before a move to Cambodia in 2003 prompted a return to his first passion for observing and recording people, places and events of interest. As well as contributing to numerous local publications, producing a couple of calendars, doing a stint as Managing Editor on an in-flight tourism glossy, Robert worked pro bono on numerous assignments for organisations working in the disability sector. During his time in Cambodia, Robert also published two other books: Kings of the Road – a documentary on the lives of the cyclo (rickshaw) drivers of Phnom Penh; and Did You See This One? a treatise on hand-painted advertising art in Cambodia.