The New York Times on Quest for Land

I just ran across this story by Seth Mydans on the New York Times Lens blog about John Vink’s excellent app Quest for Land.

“One goal stayed in my mind throughout,” he said in a telephone interview from Phnom Penh. “The mechanisms of an injustice hitting thousands of people in Cambodia had to be told. That’s what it is about.”

He has produced an intimate, passionate, almost palpable documentation of their lives — a decade of photographs, tens of thousands of images, the vast majority of which have never been published or exhibited.

He has become so immersed in his work, he said, that it has been hard to find a point at which to pause and pull it all together. “When living in a country instead of popping in and out, the flow of events is immersive,” he said. “You can’t escape it.”

Looking for a home for some of his 3,500 edited images, he has turned to the most modern of technology, creating an iPad app called Quest for Land, available through iTunes. In 20 themed chapters containing more than 700 photographs, he invites a viewer to join him in his immersion.

John spoke to the photographer Erik Kim about the project, and the interview provides some interesting insights into the process behind building the app. Of course, this is all a bit old news. The app was released in 2012, when iOS was in version four. But it’s not every day that your work gets discussed in The Times, so you have to grab the opportunities when you can.