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For the week of Apr. 19 through Apr. 25, 2000

Lost and found in Laos

Take a photo safari with photographer Thia Konig


By HANS IBOLD
Express Staff Writer

A member of the Ahka tribe, LaosA member of the Ahka tribe from northern Laos captured by Hailey photographer Thia Konig. Konig offers a slide show Thursday depicting her journey to these remote people.

 

Frogs on a stick. Deep fried cockroaches with spray-on teriyaki. Centipedes marinated in whiskey.

These are a few of the culinary treats that Hailey-based photographer Thia Konig encountered on her way through Laos, Cambodia and Thailand two years ago.

But Konig wasn’t on a quest for food. She was searching for the people living in unheard of villages in the remotest regions of southeast Asia.

She found them and returned with a spectacular array of portraits of Laotian, Cambodian and Thai people.

Konig offers a slide show depicting her journey to those remote villages at the Environmental Resource Center Armchair Adventure Slide Show Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Clarion Inn in Ketchum.

"The color slides that I’ll be showing are the sort of journey to the black and white portraits I took," Konig said.

Those portraits, part of what Konig calls her "Ricochet from Asia" series, can be seen at Anne Reed Gallery in Ketchum.

"My mission with "Ricochet" is to form a connection with my subjects and to make that connection felt by the viewer," Konig said.

As the slide show will reveal, that mission has taken her to remote and sometimes dangerous regions. While in southeast Asia she trudged through a boggy, leech-filled jungle for three days, fled a sinking boat on the Mekong River and got lost on a moped along the volatile border of Thailand and Burma.

"From my misadventures, you’ll learn what to do and what not to do," Konig said.

Konig’s slides and portraits of southeast Asia also capture a region in flux.

"What impressed me most about the cultures there was the dichotomy of grace and chaos," she said. "It’s developing fast. Because of that it’s graceful and languid, but at the same time chaotic."

Konig is so serious about forming a connection with her subjects that she donates $100 from the sale of each "Ricochet" portrait to relief and other preservation organizations that work on behalf of the villages she visited.

Admission to the slide show is $5 for ERC members or $8 for non-members. If you join the ERC in April, admission is free.

For more information, call 726-4333.

 

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