Found Cambodian family portraits
- 7 August 2014
- From the section In Pictures
It can be argued, fairly strongly I believe, that the social history of the 20th Century is held within the family photo album.
These precious memories are often lost to us for one reason or another - but even when removed from the hands of the people whose lives they portray, there is a wealth of information to be had for anyone caring to look hard enough.
Of course, one picture without any background information will not tell us much - but if you gather enough together, you do begin to open a small crack into the past.
But the idea, he reveals, first came to him in London, when he met a Cambodian man called Yanny at a celebration of the 2009 Khmer New Year.
"We have been great friends ever since," says Fox.
"Yanny used to show me his old photographs of life in Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, he would tell me how his family moved back into Phnom Penh, and how society started to rebuild itself, all of this whilst flicking through his worn family photo albums illustrating his point."
Fox promised Yanny that on his return to Cambodia he would continue to look for old family portraits and to document their stories, copying pictures held in family albums and obtaining a comment or two when he could.
He says: "The problem with prints is they are finite, most I come across are damaged - either through bleaching in the sun, or moisture has caused the plastic holders to stick to the emulsion.
"It's not just the prints that are disintegrating, it's the memories too, dates, times and locations are fading.
"The project has a very specific aim, document as many of these pictures as I can from 1979 to the current day and through photography build a catalogue of social and cultural development and change. Like I said, I made a promise."
Here's a selection of the work found so far, alongside a comment from the owner of the picture.