Photographer David Schermann is a globetrotter who visits and leaves the places with stories and memories carried along with him. And such has happened during his nine-day visit in Kyrgyzstan while studying the plate tectonic processes of the land. Now, we present David's photographic travelogue.
According to David, the country of Kyrgyzstan is one landlocked country of open sky and field. The landscapes are epic, surrounded by mountain ranges and steppes. Agriculture remains the largest economic sector in the country -- about 60%. He only met a few people during his stay and told that while the country is one of the poorest in the world (ranking 10th), the people were warm and welcoming as the locals would invite him for food and drinks.
"One of my favorite moments was when we wanted to watch a football match (it was Kyrgyzstan versus Palestine) and we had absolutely no idea how to get tickets. I think we looked so lost that a young psychology student decided to help us. Apparently, we were at the wrong gate and together we ran around the whole stadium to get in, just in time for the national anthems. "
The first three days were spent camping near Bishkek, the capital city of the country. The next two days were spent driving up to the mountains of Son Kol Lake and sleeping in Yurts, where David and his team were able to learn more about the culture through the national sport: "I really loved that part. The lake is so calm and beautiful and at night you can see so many stars! Also, we watched a game of Kok Boru, the national sport of Kyrgyzstan. Basically, 2 teams on horses fight over a goat carcass. The goal is to throw the carcass into the goal of the opposite team."
The following days were spent in Issyk-Kul Lake, nicknamed as "The Sea of Kyrgz", the second largest salt lake in the world. David mentioned that the lake was one of the main tourist attractions during the Soviet era, with many abandoned structures can be found. The end of the Soviet Union hit the whole region economically and suffered from the losses. David and his team camped out at an abandoned hotel complex, supposedly built for factory workers but never opened: "It was eerie sleeping between those buildings, if you looked through the windows you could still see fully furnished rooms with the beds made."
The last two days were spent in Bishkek as David and his team visited the Ala Archa National Park, where David first climbed up a glacier.
David's style of landscape shots matches the serenity found in these open lands of Kyrgyzstan. All shot in analogue, and highly inspired by the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, David focused more on the natural geographical forms and shapes. Being able to capture sublimity is his goal in photography as he said, "I think his paintings show how insignificant we really are compared to nature."
David takes after his photojournalist father, who highly influenced him in pursuing photography and curating memories through images. The young photographer continues moving across the globe, looking for the Earth's secrets to capture them in their natural and raw grandeur.