Raymond Cauchetier was a French photographer who owed his initial success to his iconic pictures as a stage photographer for the French New Waves directors such as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut.
His first photographs were taken in his thirties while serving in the press corps of the French Air Force in Indochina. During these years, he discovered with astonishment the richness of the human and cultural aspects of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. He became the friend of the peasants of the rice fields, but also the friend of Norodom Sihanouk, king of Cambodia, and Bao-Dais, emperor of Vietnam. Back then, these countries which were considered with benevolent condescendence, were in reality bursting with contained energy. Looking back over the centuries, their history is dazzling and their creative genius just as strong as that of mediaeval Europe. As soon as he had some free time, Cauchetier would take photographs of towns, people or landscapes, packing them into boxes. More than sixty years later, his familiar and nostalgic scenes of Cambodia are a precious testimony of daily life in the early years of Cambodia’s independence.
Cauchetier traveled also through Hong Kong in 1954, because the city was conveniently on the air route he had chosen on his way to France on his return from Indochina. He thought he would stay there for only 24 hours, but the city fascinated him, and his stay extended for one week. Cauchetier always had his faithful Rolleiflex with him. Cauchetier is giving us this bouquet of memories, a little yellowed, but always authentic.