During his nearly half a century in Asia, Seoul-based American photographer Tom Coyner has discovered the obvious – to understand a new part of the world, the best place to start is with the oldest inhabitants.
Across Asia, some communities have blissfully seen the decades pass in tranquility. But many have experienced traumatic upheavals like revolutions, decolonization, war and even genocide. And, of course, fast-paced economic development has changed multiple facets of life across the region, not always for the better.
The elder generation’s life experiences speak volumes. And leaping across cultural and language barriers, these life experiences are visually evident for they are deeply ingrained in human faces.
This makes senior citizens among the most photogenic members of their communities. Their faces communicate on a very human level what they, their families, their neighbors, their communities and in some cases their countries, have experienced.
In this gallery, we meet Asia’s elders as we traverse the region from east to west, starting in Japan and ending in India.
For more photos on this topic from Tom Coyner, please click here