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Phnom Penh Photo 2012 –Zoltán Jókay


For Zoltán Jókay, people are the main thing, and emotion. In that they give back to us something of ourselves, in that they perhaps enable us to better understand and feel. His portraits are in a documentary tradition that knows where it comes from, which is also very familiar from August Sander to Diane Arbus, but which can only be achieve by realizing what he encounters in the other and us in the photo itself. This observation of “growing up” is not a notion relating to age but has more to do with a state of mind or a state of things that is never formal. Light and color are the very matter of these photographs that are always impossible to describe, that words fails to explain because they say more than words. The characters pose, assume their image as the photographer assumes his position. That is as respectful as it is modest. And of immense generosity.

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