Raymond Kochetier was born in Paris on January 10, 1920 as a piano teacher who raised a lonely boy. He never knew his father, had no education beyond the grammar school, and throughout his life he lived on the fifth floor where he was born.
It was near Bois de Vincennes, where the 1931 Colonial Exchequer opened in 1931, “Every evening I could see a faithful, brilliantly illuminated replica of the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat through the kitchen window,” he said. said. He dreamed of seeing Angkor Wat someday.
When the Germans attacked Paris in 1940, he fled on a bicycle and joined the resistance. In the French Air Force after the war, he was assigned to duty as a combat photographer in Vietnam. In 1951, he bought the Roliflex, a camera popular with war correspondents, and used it for most of his life. General Charles de Gaulle awarded him the Legion of Honor for working in the battlefield.
After the war ended in 1954, Mr. Kochetier stayed after taking pictures of people and landscapes in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The first book of his photographs, “Sale de Guerre en Indochina” (“Air War in Indochina”) sold 10,000 copies. In 1956, the Smithsonian Institution organized an exhibition of his work, “The Face of Vietnam”, which was shown in museums and universities in the United States.
His childhood dream of visiting Angkor Wat in 1957 came true when he created a precious collection of 3000 photographs by critics. Looking at the Premier Norodom Sihanouk, it was destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.
Back in Paris and unable to find work as a photo journalist, he was hired to take photographs for Photo-Roman, a popular kind of photo novel. He met Mr. Goddard through a publisher and soon drowned in the New Wave. When he emerged, he and his Japanese wife, Koru, traveled widely, as they saw Romanesque sculptures in the Excelsistence setting. She escapes him.