l  u  c  r  è  c  e

S I   P H A N   D O N

21st of June 2019

Viriya Chotpaniyavisut
& Ištvan Išt Huzjan

les 4,000 îles     2019
C-print, 75 x 50cm

les 4,000 îles     2019
C-print, 75 x 50cm

les 4,000 îles     2019
C-print, 75 x 50cm

les 4,000 îles     2019
C-print, 75 x 50cm

It is 5:30 am, the bell of the monastery rings and the sun rises slowly.
The river is still deeply blue, Viriya and I are ready to take the picture.
The air is fresh, but not for long.
People wake up and start to prepare the food for the monks.
The market is installed: fishes, wild herbs, tobacco, wild rat meat, etc.
The monks start their procession, a metallic bowl in their hands.

The Mekong seems to be made of mercury.
It is silver and dazzling.
The women take care of the children and cook breakfast.
A bowl of rice with fish, garlic and pepper.
The fishers start to fish, the hunters start to hunt.
Lying down on a 2x2 bench, their wives and elders take a nap.

The river takes its natural colour: brown and sweet.
The air is heavy, humid, and around 40 degrees.
Some monks are crafting a boat under the Tam Wat (the practice temple)
Some children are playing with their monks’ friends.
The cats rest under the shadow of the temple
It will soon be time for the lunchtime.

The sun is at the zenith
Some little girls arrive with baskets.
A monk rings an U.S. Army bomb bell, calling his fellows to come and have lunch.
Sitting around a circle table, they eat rice, meat, and herbs.
After eating, the children and the cats eat the rests.
The little girls fill their baskets.

Later, some elders wake up from the bench.
Some gamble with cards and some braid fish traps.
Almost all of them chew betel quid.
They don’t talk much after all these years of routine.
The heat is strong, every movements are difficult.
It is better to stay in the shadow, under the wood houses.

The fishermen come back from their expedition with their apprentice sons.
Their wives prepare dinner for them and their neighbours.
They talk about their day looking at the Mekong in a communal room.
The children go to play in the river, enjoying the last sunshine.
Made of noodles and fermented fish, the dinner is ready.
The weather is colder, and the insects start singing.

The sun is setting and will be replaced soon by the moon.
Monks practice the evening meditation.
Some fishers continue to work.
Their lanterns are reflected in the river.
On the other bank, an ardent light appears.
The moon rises but disappears slowly in the monsoon storm.


© 2019 Viriya Chotpanyavisut All Rights Reserved

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