Friday,Jul. 5, 2013 - Saturday, Jul. 27, 2013

Gelatin silver prints, with Hitoshi Kameyama's signature and edition notations

Copyright (c) Hitoshi Kameyama All Rights Reserved

They stare directly at the lens when I look at them through my camera’s viewfinder. At times, it becomes difficult for my hands to focus my camera. As they stand quietly, they may project a appearance similar to us Japanese, but have a different conviction due to their harsh lifestyle. I simply held my breath and tried to negate my feeling of uneasiness as I pressed the shutter button.
“Thanaka” is a type of skin cream made in Myanmar. Used primarily by women and children, it protects their skin from the harsh South East Asian sun. Citrus tree bark is ground with stones and mixed with water into a paste. This paste can then be applied to the skin with care using a mirror. Some young women even decorate their faces with leaf patterns using this cream. “Thanaka” is indeed a symbol of Myanmar culture.
Myanmar is undergoing a rapid shift from a military regime to a democracy. It is clear that urban development will be inevitable under a free market economy. In fact, prices in Yangon have already begun to rise and chaos is slowly spreading due to the dramatic changes within the weak infrastructure. I can’t help but pray that the change will be for the better and their world will change into one they want it to become.


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