Theodore Kaye

Greater China & Central Asia

Bio | Recent Work
+86 130 7694 3201 (China), +1 802 322 3181 (US)
Recent work

CBC – Songjiang Battle Array Festival in Neimen, Taiwan

March 17th, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to shoot the the Songjiang ‘Battle Array’ festival, a uniquely Taiwanese mix of a 400 year old folk martial art and college-level ‘Step Up’ styled competition. Here’s a link to a slideshow of my photos on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) website.

Dongguan – China’s ‘City of Sin’ for NYT

March 7th, 2014

I recently shot a feature story for the New York Times on the anti-vice crackdown in Dongguan, the starting point of a nationwide campaign that has shut down thousands of massage parlors, brothels and hair salons across China. After estimates of hundreds of thousands fleeing Dongguan, the tense mood following the crackdown made it such that much of the shoot became about documenting what remained of the city’s massive, underground sex industry — shuttered salons and adult stores, sex flyers with phones no longer answered, laid-off nightclub employees collecting their final salaries, exotic sharks in 5-star hotels that had ‘deluxe spas’, police tape sealing countless shops and bars. Here are a few outtakes from the assignment.

NatGeo Poland – Legacy of Alexander the Great

December 4th, 2013

New tearsheet with National Geographic Traveller (Poland) on the legacy of Alexander the Great. October, 2013 issue.

The Other Hundred Launch Event in Hong Kong

October 8th, 2013

The Other Hundred photo book acts as a counterpoint to the Forbes 100 style richest lists by telling the stories of people who are not wealthy, but whose lives and achievements deserve celebration. By looking at all these profiles in aggregate from all over the world, the book serves as a rich illustration of the status of majority of world. Some of my photos of a family of buzkashi horse riders in Tajikistan were selected for the book. Other photographers I’m proud to published alongside in the book include Franco Pagetti, Reza, Ami Vitale and James Whitlow Delano.
As the book is published this month, The Other Hundred project is having a launch event and exhibition in Hong Kong this week. I will be attending the launch event along with a couple other of the contributing photographers – noted novelist Pankaj Mishra is the opening speaker. Please visit if you are in the area.
Venue: Park Court, Ground Floor, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Launch Event: 7:00pm, October 10, 2013
Exhibition: October 10-16, 2013

Bukhara feature on Project Bly – Street photo & style

October 8th, 2013

Check out the new destination feature on Project Bly, featuring four photo galleries of my work from Bukhara, Uzbekistan. Project Bly is a lifestyle website featuring rotating world street market destinations along with wonderful items you can purchase from each place’s bazaars. Profiling street photography, street food and street style from each location, destinations in the past year have included Mumbai, India; La Paz, Bolivia; and Kumasi, Ghana. Since covering the Bukhara shoot for Bly, I have been impressed by their travel philosophy and I’m proud to say I have started working closely with their team as their Photography Advisor. Check out their website and get inspired to travel!

Afghan Kyrgyz Photo Essay featured in Obscura Photo Festival

July 1st, 2013

My photo essay – on the migration of thousands of Afghan Kyrgyz nomads from the Wakhan Corridor to Turkey – was featured in a curated show this month at the Obscura Photography Festival in Penang, Malaysia. The theme was ‘Transcontinent,’ featuring continent-spanning migrations, concepts and events, with work by Simon Roberts, Rafal Milach, Chloe Dewe Matthews and others. Much thanks to Arko Datto.

China & India Organic Tea for Fair Trade USA

May 18th, 2013

I recently completed an extended shoot in central China and northeastern India for Fair Trade USA, focusing on organic tea farmers and how fair trade affects their communities. With an emphasis on helping benefit agricultural producers, the fair trade social movement promotes better working conditions and sustainability. It was wonderful to see up-close how extra premiums paid by consumers translated into educational, medical and professional support for the farming groups I documented in Jiangxi and Assam.

Buzkashi feature in Le Figaro Magazine

April 14th, 2013

My Buzkashi feature was published in Le Figaro Magazine in the April 12, 2013, issue. Much thanks to photo editor Cyril Drouhet for the wonderful layout. For French readers, a web version of the article and a (poorly executed) slideshow can be viewed at the Le Figaro website, here.

Rhythms Monthly feature on Central Asian borders

February 20th, 2013

One of Asia’s leading geographic magazines — Rhythms Monthly — is publishing my feature this week, a sweeping look at Central Asia and the legacy of Soviet borders, as part of their global look at borders that have divided nations and peoples. Photos and text (in Chinese), spanning a whopping 40 pages, by yours truly. Web versions available here: Part 1 and Part 2.

Buzkashi Book published – Centaurs of the Steppe

February 5th, 2013

Proud to announce that I’ve published my book on buzkashi, Central Asia’s oldest and fiercest sport. “Centaurs of the Steppe” is a study of this quintessentially Central Asian sport, a sort of horse polo played with a goat carcass — with few rules and no teams, the sport and the atmosphere that surrounds matches is visually arresting. The book also includes a 1300 word essay I wrote on the culture and patronage of this fascinating sport. A selection of photos from this series won a gold award in the 2011 Prix de la Photographie (PX3) and 2nd place in the 2011 International Photography Awards.

The book is available as print on-demand through Magcloud here. I’m touched by the range of surprising locations book orders have come from – Georgia, Japan, the UK and Canada, among others.

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© 2013 Theodore Kaye
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