Photographer: Richard Nicholson
There aren't many Cambodians living in London – perhaps only a hundred. Initially I had wanted to photograph an older Cambodian, a refugee from the killing fields of the 1970s. In my mind's eye, I could see an old man browsing through a photo album of lost loved ones. I met the right man, but he explained to me that his photo album held too many painful memories, and that he wouldn't want it included in a photograph.
At this point I realised that trying to tackle the complicated history of the Khmer Rouge in a single portrait was impossible. Eliza was keen to be photographed for the project and she represents a new forward-looking face of Cambodia. I photographed her near her home, just off the Old Kent Road. She's wearing traditional Cambodian dress.
I photographed her using a technique called 'stitching' – I shot a grid of nine images and then stitched them together on the computer. The subject must remain totally still for about a minute as I take the pictures. A side effect of holding a pose like this is that the resulting image has an appealing old-fashioned formality.
by Richard Nicholson, photographer - www.richardnicholson.com