Gold . Larry Louie . Canada

by tVCA

Exhibition 05 March 2010 at the Charleston Center for Photography, Charleston, South Carolina, USA


Born in Hong Kong and raised in Edmonton, Canada, Larry was educated as a doctor of optometry and now divides his time between his practice and his art. Larry increasingly focuses his lens on remote cultures facing rapid change, assimilation, even disappearance, as urbanization and globalization erode traditional ways of life. He also explores the challenges that arise where people’s lives are caught between the past and present, documenting the social issues of groups that modern society has touched but left behind. His photographs show the strength and perseverance that mark people the world over, revealing the light sometimes found in dark places.  Both as an optometrist and as a photographer, Larry is an avid supporter of Seva Canada, a non-profit organization that has joined the VISION 2020 initiative aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness in the world by the year 2020.


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Vanishing Cultures – Tibet

‘I have always felt a special connection with the people of Tibet, but over the past few years, I an increasingly urgency to document these people as their traditional ways of life, ancient knowledge and customs, languages and identities are threatened by rapid urbanization and globalization. The Tibetan culture is one the cultures in the world where people’s lives are caught between the past and present.   People often talk about endangered species and the loss of biodiversity in nature.  Some are beginning to notice the threat to the diversity of cultures.  The changes brought by industrialization and urbanization affect not only animal and plant species – societies that have been around for thousands of years are also at risk.  I hope through my photo documentaries, I can share with others the variety and beauty of the world I see. Through contact and experience, we learn to develop tolerance and appreciation of others.  In my travels, I have come to recognize that all the world’s peoples, with their different beliefs, customs, and languages, have important connections.  When any group disappears from this world, we lose a part of ourselves.  Cultural loss means the disappearance of memory and history, but it is also a loss of potential – a loss to the future.  By documenting remote societies, I hope to inspire others to take note of what’s at stake.’ – Larry Louie