Tiane Doan na Champassak: Kolkata

Tiane Doan Na Champassak

Tiane Doan Na Champassak

“Kolkata” by Tiane Doan Na Champassak – Limited edition of 500 copies – numbered and signed by the artist 152 pages 22 x 30cm available to order on http://www.editionsbessard.com/ Price 75€

My uncle, Thaï Doan na Champassak, published Ancestral Voices by Collins – London in 1956 and began his autobiography with this sentence. Mobilised in Algiers during the Second World War, he was sent to China as a trained parachutist in charge of a secret mission destined for clandestine entry into Indochina, then occupied by the Japanese. This extraordinary story has its beginnings in Calcutta, the starting point for his mission to Chungking. In the first chapter he gives a vivid description of the ex-capital of British India just four years before independence.

Tiane Doan na Champassak

Tiane Doan na Champassak

Having travelled frequently to India since 1996 it never occurred to me that Kolkata (formerly the anglicised name Calcutta) would inspire me to produce a body of work focused on its street life and I owe it to my uncle for giving me that desire. In fact it is in the streets of Kolkata that I find the most absolute representation of Indian reality. It is also the only city which holds such an intense concentration of extremes; quiet and loud, rich and poor, clean and dirty, modern and old, beautiful and ugly, past and present. This continuous duality has become my leitmotiv and is the reason I deliberately chose to focus on its street life in order to best represent the chaos of this huge megalopolis of over fifteen million inhabitants. (by Tiane Doan na Champassak)



The fall: Khmer Rouge soldiers collect weapons on the day Phnom Penh fell to Pol Pot’s forces.

Published in South East Asia Globe – Written by Sebastian Strangio 

Forty years ago, the Khmer Rouge entered Phnom Penh, ushering in unprecedented death and destruction. This short but seismic era casts a long shadow over the Kingdom to this day.


Francis Wilmer for SEA Globe

Reach for the sky: looking south from Phnom Penh’s highest building, the Vattanac Capital tower. The city is thriving and rapidly expanding despite having to be repopulated following the Khmer Rouge regime.