Embrace © Peter Armenia
Sacred Light - Asia:
Recent Work in the Sacred Light Series
Photographs by Peter Armenia
November 20 through December 31, 2009
A man with no particular spiritual leaning, Peter Armenia is curious about belief and what inspires it, in all its variety and intensity. As he describes it, “the expression of belief is usually a process of revealing what is deep inside. It gets to the heart of the matter, exposing raw truths, which are wrapped in visually stunning layers of ritual and art.” It is these layers Armenia captures in such images as Universe in a Puddle. In this picture a child’s confection of a building, a gingerbread house with elaborately carved details, looms behind a scrim of heavily falling snow. The only bright spot in the image is a monk in orange robes, dressed for warmer weather. Many of Armenia’s images present a kind of visual vertigo, a challenge for the viewer to reconcile what the eye sees with what the mind wishes to perceive. An ancient temple appears to be enclosed in a busy urban shopping center, old and new abutted against each other in what seems like two disparate photos, but is really one seamless image. It is worth mentioning that none of his shots are choreographed nor altered with Photoshop. With his photography, Armenia says he endeavors to “respectfully approach the truth with awe and openness.”
Born in Buffalo, NY in 1963, Peter Armenia began taking pictures at age 17 with the acquisition of his first camera. Upon earning his degree in computer science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1989, Armenia took a software engineer position with The Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY. Combining his interests in photography and computer science with work at Kodak gave way to the dedicated pursuit of photography in 1995. Since that time, Armenia has specialized in documentary photography of international and domestic locations, people and culture.
Peter Armenia’s photographs have been exhibited locally and internationally at such places as the Center for Documentary Studies, Durham; Lee Hansley Gallery, Raleigh; and Toyama Shimin Plaza, Toyama, Japan. His work has appeared on the covers of numerous compact discs and books; in the pages of magazines such as Time, Business Traveler, Travel Holiday, and Escape Magazine; and within the Marbles Kids Museum (formerly Exploris) in Raleigh.