Max Pam is passionate about life, travel and photography -- for him they are inseparable. Travel has been the catalyst for the creation of his compelling images since the 1960s and the images he has produced providing an intimate journal of his life. As a teenager Pam found post-war suburban Melbourne grim, oppressive and culturally isolated. He found refuge in the counter-culture of surfing and the imagery of National Geographic and Surfer magazine and became determined to travel overseas.
Pam left Australia at 20, after accepting a job as a photographer assisting an astrophysicist. Together, the pair drove a Volkswagen from Calcutta to London. This adventure proved inspirational and travel has remained a crucial and continuous link to Pam's creative and personal development.
Pam's work takes the viewer on compelling journeys around the globe. His extensive work in Asian counties is well represented in major collections and books as are his travels in Europe and Australia and into the rich and diverse Indian Ocean Rim cultures including India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Yemen, The Republic of Tanzania, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Cocos and Christmas Islands. These images leave the viewer, as Tim Winton said in Pam’s award-winning book Going East, “...grateful for having been taken so mysteriously by surprise and so far and sweetly abroad.”
His book Going East was featured in Phaidon’s History of the Photobook Vol 2 in 2006. His prints are in national and private collections in Australia, France, Great Britain Italy and Japan. Some of the published books on Max Pam’s work include: Max Pam (1999), Ethiopia (1999), and Indian Ocean Journals (2000). But it was his first, Going East: Twenty Years of Asian Photography, that won the most prestigious European book award, the Grand Prix du Livre Photographique, in 1992. His most recent book Atlas Monographs (2009) won the International Photo Book Prize at Photoespana in Madrid in 2010.
Pam currently teaches photomedia at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia.