Artist Statement Beyond my fascination with many of the countries in SE Asia, my objective is to capture the cultures and customs of the ever-shrinking ethnic minorities and hill tribes found in China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan, Thailand and Myanmar/Burma. This project was conceived after a visit to Vietnam and China in 2001. Trekking among the lands of the Chil, the Hmong, the Dai, the Dong and the Miao, I became intrigued with lifestyles that are seemingly unchanged from centuries past. Even as war raged through Vietnam, even as the Cultural Revolution imploded China into decades of upheaval and regression, the customs and traditions of these minority peoples have somehow survived, virtually untouched. Exploring further in 2005 and 2006, I traveled through more regions of SE Asia, visiting with Uighers along Xinjiang’s Silk Road, the Jarais in Ratanakiri (Cambodia) and Tibetans in the mountains of Sichuan. In January of 2009, I spent several weeks with the Akha in northern Laos. 2011 took me to the Bulang, Aka and Dai in the rubber and tea fields of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, while 2013 provided a few weeks with the Shan and Palaung in the dusty hills of northern Myanmar (Burma). October of 2014 introduced me to the Monpas in the Nabji area of eastern Bhutan. 2017 took me to the Dai, Tay, Black Hmong, Flower Hmong and Black Lolo minorities in the Ha Giang region of northern Vietnam, several Lenten and Lahu villages in northern Laos, and Akha, Karen and Lisu villages in Mae Hong Son region of northern Thailand. 2018 provided travel to minorities in the coffee-producing Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos and Bunong villages in Northern Cambodia. What I have learned is that the traditions of these dignified and gentle people are slowly but surely being enveloped, sometimes crushed, under the guise of nationalism and expansion in the host countries. Self-determination is dwindling, national emigration is rising, local traditions are vanishing. My goal is to document these minority people, to depict their lifestyles, to recognize their unique characteristics and to preserve, through environmental portraiture, their values, their culture, their humanity. Before too long, there will not be many remnants left of their heritage.