First published back in 2011, Steve McCurry’s Looking East is a breathtaking showcase of the photographer’s best portrait work. The images, which were shot during his extensive travels across Southeast Asia, focus on the region’s outsiders: from monks and children to pilgrims, wanderers and migrants.
Like much of McCurry’s work, the collection teeters between the edges of cutting-edge photojournalism and fine art – presenting people from all walks of life in a beautifully unified way, and breaking the boundaries between race, language and culture.
Now, the book is making a return, with Phaidon opting to publish it in paperback for the first time this week. “[Looking East is] regarded as one of the most iconic publications of contemporary documentary photography,” a spokesperson said of the reprint. “It’s a must-have for McCurry aficionados and readers eager to explore his dynamic, emotive and groundbreaking work.”
The re-release comes a few months after the publication of McCurry’s Afghanistan – a lavish documentation of the Magnum photographer’s four-decade love affair with the region. “[McCurry’s] work has not just recorded and documented the visual reality of its modern history, in many ways it has also defined the way the world has come to see the country,” historian William Dalrymple said at the time.
Looking East: Portraits by Steve McCurry is available now from Phaidon.