Roads Over Troubled Water.
A quest for the soul – Une chasse à l’âme.
Photographs by Sophie Zenon.
Schilt Publishing, 2010. 48 pp., 40 duotone illustrations, 9½x3¾".
French photographer Sophie Zenon has been travelling across Asia
for more than ten years now. Initially, she spent a lot of time in
Mongolia, Siberia and the Amur river basin, capturing both the
enormous grandiosity of these areas and the population’s harmony
with nature and the divine. Zenon then continued her ‘quest for the
soul’: between Siem Reap and Kratie, past Phnom Penh to the Gulf of
Siam, she allows herself to be carried away on the waters of Tonlé Sap
and the Mekong.
The relationship between water and the landscape is made crystal
clear in Zenon’s panoramas. Water is the basis of life, and therefore
of thought. Water is omnipresent, forming an inextricable whole with
its environment, being its cause. Sophie Zenon’s way of working
transcends several fundamental photographic principles. On the one
hand, in her landscape photography she places nature at the fore in
an almost literary manner by expressing philosophical reflections on
the role of elements in nature via forms and shadows.
On the other hand, just like Henri Cartier Bresson, she has mastered
the art of capturing short-lived and unique moments. One of Zenon’s
sources of inspiration is the Finnish master in both genres, Pentti
Roads Over Troubled Water is an exceptional piece of design, printing
and binding. The book is a work of art in itself, with its landscape
format of 24 x 9 cm, some fifty photos printed in duotone, and its
leporello binding. With a separate text book (bilingual English/
French), in a slipcase.