Oriol Casanovas Photographer

Lao Qiang, a big-screen performance from before cinema and TV

Shaanxi Province is located in the middle section of the Yellow River, in north-central China. It is at the southern tip of a vast dusty plain dominated by the imposing Mount Hua, one of the five sacred mountains of China. At the foot of this mountain there is the small and humble town of Shuang Quan. In this tiny piece of the world lives Mrs. Zhang Xiangling. This lady is a musician and the director of a small traveling troupe of performers dedicated to entertaining at birthday parties, funerals and religious events.-- Oriol Casanovas (23 photos total)

Leather shadow puppets
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Doñana, the living cycle

Nestled near the Strait of Gibraltar, halfway between Europe and Africa, Donana National Park can be seen as small, but complex universe.

Assigned by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Our Place World Heritage -- Oriol Casanovas (30 photos total)

Amadeo and the ducks
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A memory for Nepal

Nepalese Pioneer Poet popularly known as Adikavi (original poet) wrote these lines below. With his words he painted my feelings about the people of this great country with precision, simplicity and sincerity:

“He gives his life to cutting grass and earns little money,
he hopes to make a well for his people so he will be remembered after death,
this high thinking grass-cutter lives in poverty,
I have achieved nothing though I have much wealth.

I have neither made rest houses nor a well, all my riches are inside my house.
This grass-cutter has opened my eyes today,
my life is worthless if the memory of my existence fades away”.

On this moments of pain and suffering, please, do not forget Nepal. -- Oriol Casanovas (23 photos total)

korea rice farmer
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Solitude and Silence

To have the privilege of being welcomed in a Carthusian monastery is diving into a wormhole in which time and space acquire a new dimension. A veritable time leap.

-- Oriol Casanovas (33 photos total)

Carthusian Monastery
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The lost spirit of Tao

Invited by the prestigious photography magazine “Chinese Photographer’s Magazine”, I travelled to the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi to take part of a photography assignment. The goal was “to capture the Spirit of Hua Shan Mountain” in a contest among three local photographers and three “westerners”. -- Oriol Casanovas (25 photos total)

korea rice farmer
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Country life in Korea

The Korean countryside is conservative. An unpretentious conservatism that digests the facts of life slowly, and resists modernity. As the locals say- “that what we have is enough, thank you”. -- Oriol Casanovas (14 photos total)

korea rice farmer
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City life in Korea

Planned so as not to invade the mountains, South Korean cities usually tend to emerge in plains and valleys, extending in huge apartment blocks designed in such a uniform style that the architecture recalls the former USSR communist systems. The modern Korean Urbanism is functional and practical. It seems to respond, first of all, to the productive needs of a country conditioned by the global competitiveness and the long-term race against its economical gigantic neighboring: China and Japan.-- Oriol Casanovas (23 photos total)

Bryggen World Heritage Site
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World Heritage sites in Finland

OUR PLACE "The first official World Heritage Photographic databank" is a worldwide photographic project committed to presenting the wonder and significance of the planet’s most important Cultural and Natural World Heritage sites to a global audience, through great visual images in partnership with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Assigned with the Our Place project in Finland, I had been documenting the city of Rauma, and the Fortress of Suomenlinna with the range of Panasonic Lumix digital cameras.-- Oriol Casanovas (14 photos total)

Bryggen World Heritage Site
Strolling on Suomenlinna's shore fortifications.
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World Heritage sites in Sweden

There are currently 962 special places around the world that have been awarded prestigious World Heritage status by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. They are some of the planet's most unique and significant locations and are places of both Natural and Cultural importance. The OUR PLACE project, is "the first official World Heritage Photographic databank" declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and is photographically documenting the world heritage sites for posterity. Assigned to Sweden World Heritage sites, I had been documenting Skogskyrkogården cemetery and the Royal Domain of Drottningholm with the range of Panasonic Lumix digital cameras and lenses.-- Oriol Casanovas (12 photos total)

Bryggen World Heritage Site
The design of Skogskyrkogarden is based on the mourner's experience, that is, the sadness and feelings associated with loss.
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World Heritage sites in Norway

The photographers who work on assignment for the OUR PLACE World Heritage project have a proven track record in documenting Cultural and Natural locations around the world. On assignment to the world's most interesting locations, the team of International photographers, endeavors to capture the human dimension of those places as well as its important physical elements. Assigned to Norway World Heritage sites, I had been documenting Bryggen, Røros and Urnes. This work was made with the support of Panasonic and with the range of Lumix digital cameras.. -- Oriol Casanovas (18 photos total)

Bryggen World Heritage Site
The compact rows of wooden buildings with their narrow passages constituted a natural fire hazard in Bryggen. Large parts of the area were devasted by fire on at least seven occasions, the last of them in 1955.
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South India, notes

For the second edition of the look at daily life, I share images from different states located in the South of India: Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This work was made with an small Canon G-5 compact camera. -- Oriol Casanovas (33 photos total)

India Kerala Edava Beach
India is not just a geography or history. It is not only a nation, a country, a mere piece of land. It is something more: it is a metaphor, poetry, something invisible but very tangible. It is vibrating with certain energy fields that no other country can claim. -Osho, from "India my love, fragments of a golden past"-
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Daily life in North India, notes

For this first edition of the look at daily life, I share images from different states located in the North of India: Uttar Pradesh, Uttakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Rajastan. This project was made with a Canon G-5 compact camera and a Canon EOS 5d MarkII. -- Oriol Casanovas (45 photos total)

India ladakh lamayuru transport
Lunar landscape in the Srinagar - Kargil - Leh road, 15 km east of the Fotu La, at a height of 3.510 m.
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"Kumbh Mela" the pilgrimage of nectar

The Indian Bhagavata Purana explains that long time back, in times when demigods and demons were mortal beings, teamed up to create "Amrita", the nectar of immortality. After the pact, once made the elixir, demigods had stolen the pot containing the essence of life, causing a battle with the demons that lasted the equivalent to twelve human years. During the battle, twelve drops of the precious nectar fell in four different geographical locations in India. These four places are since believed to have acquired mystical powers.

It is said say that today, once every three astrological years, the river waters from one of these four places become a redemptive nectar for those who dip their bodies in it, shaking the Indian subcontinent in a religious pilgrimage difficult to conceive.

This project was made with a Canon G-5 compact camera-- Oriol Casanovas (39 photos total)

Kumbh Mela Ujjain parade guru devotees
The Mahants and Gurus, coming from all the four corners of the Indian subcontinent, range in mass processions on the main day of India's Kumbh Mela, to take a holy bath. They mount in a variety of means of transport: here a cart pulled by disciples to show their devotion.
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"Wash your mouth before talking about Zen"

We live in a game of the mind. We name and give adjectives to the reality that surrounds us, giving it attributes that limit our ability to perceive it. If we talk about the moon, we create a conditioned and limited vision of the moon in the mind. And if somebody shows it to us, as the famous saying goes: "all we'll see is the finger pointing." -- Oriol Casanovas (36 photos total)

korean zen monk
"Taoist chanting, Confucian chanting, Christian chanting, Buddhist chanting don't matter. Chanting Coca Cola, Coca Cola, Coca Cola … can be just as good if you keep a clear mind. But if you don't keep a clear mind, and are only following your thinking as you mouth the words, even the Buddha cannot help you."
― Seung Sahn
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"Haenyo" the diver women of Jeju Island

There is a matriarchal society in the southern extreme of the Korean peninsula, on the island of Jeju, a place where women exercise their power to take on male roles. This matriarchal community, named "Haenyo" (translated as "married diver women"), live a life based on a mixture of shamanic and Buddhist beliefs. Their economy is based on garlic and mandarine crops and collecting the "Sora", a mollusk. This dependence on their environment, over centuries, has built this amazing community where politics, religion, economy, and the very essence of existence are strongly bonded with natural environment and sustainable development.. -- Oriol Casanovas (33 photos total)

haenyo diver women matriarchy
A group of "haenyo" women pose before their dive. Their socioeconomic model is surprisingly balanced and honest. Their system is based on a moral economy, in which the mutual belief in the preservation of natural areas and resources is essential.
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