Kevin Bubriski

United States of America

Portrait Of Nepal

American photographer Bubriski traveled to remote areas of Nepal "to document a time and a way of life slipping inexorably into the past." The result is this collection of nearly 90 black-and-white photographs of the Nepalese. A former Peace Corps worker in Nepal in the 1970s, Bubriski returned to this small kingdom and, over a period of three years, trekked to four different regions. His large-format camera engendered an unhurried photographic process that yielded direct, formal portraits. His shots are not intended to catch the spontaneous moment but rather to record the deliberate encounter. While most of the images are portraits, a few are stunning, somewhat abstract landscapes.

Bubriski's photographs are held in several permanent museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

In the nineteenth century, the likes of Samuel Bourne and John Thomson lugged heavy gear halfway around the world to photograph the people and sights of Asia. In modern times, Bubriski's motivations, methods, and results are virtually the same. Using a large view camera and black-and-white film, he poses them with antique formality--always facing the lens directly. This backward-looking approach is the troubling aspect of this work. Bubriski is obviously familiar with the country in which he has lived for many years, and he takes us beyond the Himalayan scenes stereotypical of Nepal to remote village life. His meticulous skill and very good eye yield a collection of rich and  exquisite photographs.

― Gretchen Garner