Bangkok Day 7

Lovely day in Bangkok today. Warm but a beautiful breeze was blowing to keep the heat down a little and make the walking around more manageable.

Today was again a basic day snapping a few more pic of maps I keep on finding around. I look forward to hopefully getting together enough to make a little book once I am back in Melbourne.

The big site seeing trip of the day was to Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute The Thai Red Cross Society Snake Farm. It was actually quite an amazing little place. I got to watch them milk 5 cobras and hear a lot about the handling, feeding, and research done at the institute. The is quite an extensive collection of animals to wander and look at as well as a very informative museum. At only 200 Thai Baht (about $8 AUD) per adult its a wonderful morning of learning and looking at some pretty amazing snakes.

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Bangkok Day 6

So Sundays in Bangkok..

I don’t know if its just that I’m not a market person, but that leaves not a lot of things to do in Bangkok on a Sunday. So today was spent taking photos of my little odd maps and then a walk around Lumpini Park.

Only a week more left in Bangkok and so much more still to see.

Bangkok Day 5

So hot in Bangkok today.. SO HOT..

Today was spent popping into Kathmandu Gallery to take a look around at work by Kata Sangkhae titled ‘Narrative of Monuments.’ It was a lovely little display of a selection of printed and framed photographs and an assembled metal box that played sound inside it.

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The images are made in over exposed and underexposed selections of monuments around Bangkok. The images are beautifully described as ‘Not an exhibition of beautiful photographs to uphold and glorify history lessons and nation-building memories as nurtured by the ruling powers, ‘Narrative of Monuments’ rather reflects the present faded state of those historical memories, represented here by the Democracy and Victory Monuments and King Taksin and King Rama I Memorials, among the artist’s contemporaries.’

The collection of images represent glimpses, like we as tourists see travelling around in a new place not knowing what and where we are really going and not knowing sure how much we understand of what we are seeing and why we are seeing it. The large metal box inside the gallery played something I don’t even know what it was, but had a woeful feeling of something I had to pay attention to, but could also ignore at the same time.

It was a lovely exhibition and if your in Bangkok I would defiantly hope you make it in to see.

Bangkok Day 4

Well a big part of today was spent looking at all the amazing art at BACC which stands for Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Its a MASSIVE place and really does need about 3-4hours of looking to get through everything. I think I got there about 10:30 and left at just after 1pm!! There are a few amazing displays on there at the moment and here are my reviews of each of the works I saw.

Now The first few floors are covered by an amazing exhibition titled ‘Exodus-Deja Vu’. This wonderful exhibition about the plight of people escaping conflict zones was quite amazing. I loved the very different approachers each photographer took, and the works they wanted to share with us. The photographers showing are Coskan Aral, Issa Touma, Sergey Ponomarev, Roland Neveu, Rahman Roslan, Nilufer Demir, Suthep Kritsanavarin, Jean Chung and Greg Constantine. There is such a mix of approaches and styles over these photographers its quite a wonderful, even though quite sad, collection of images. You can read more about the edition and the contributing artists at the offical website.

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This image by Suthep Kritsanavarin was one that I really felt the savageness of what happens to people trying to better their life by fleeing violence into violence. These Rohingya refugees were beaten and later released being told they would be murdered if they ever return to Myanmar.

‘Trung mu – endless sight’ is an exhibition by Nguyen Phuong Lin. A multi roomed experience that uses light, moving and still images which she uses as a ‘process of opening your eyes to memory.’ It’s a marvellous installation that you move through section by section discovering different lighting and visual stimulation. The installation was and felt quite photographic in nature to its play on light and dark.

The main gallery space is filled with an abundance of works by local up and coming artists in an incubator project run by the Gallery. All the selected artists have installed work and will be judged by a panel to determine and choose 2 artists to receive funding for international Residencies and help expose them and their art to the world.

Again there was so much to look at, it was hard to really find the time to spend with all of the works properly to give them time to wash over me. One artist named Suhaidee Sata had a very unique series of made objects installed in the gallery space. He has made guns out of coconut fibre. These interesting items are in opposition to the goings on in the south of Thailand and the political nature of lawlessness that seems to be brewing in the region.

Symbols of Violence

Coconut fiber guns made by artist Suhaidee Sata.

A floor is dedicated to the photographic work of H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn titled ‘Poetry of Light.’

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This was a breathtaking range of images from travel images to snapshots from her daily life. There are some truely lovely and moving images amongst this collection. I really enjoyed her collection of images relating to the building of the funeral and crematorium for King Rama 9.

And the final exhibition is titled ‘Common Exercises: Isan Contemporary Report.’ The level is filled with art from the Northern farming region of Thailand that boarders Cambodia and Laos. To quote directly form the catalogue ‘The exhibition highlights contemporary phenomena of Isan’s dynamic growth self determination.’ I don’t think I could have put it better myself. There were many amazing works in the collection that all had a unique story to tell about the area.

Sompop Budtard

Soil Portrait on Canvas 210cm x 185cm

 

For some more reading about all these exhibitions please pop over to the BACC Website and look through each of the exhibitions and the reading materials they have. If you have any questions please leave a comment below.

Bangkok Day 3

Today has been amazing.

I was out early on the streets looking around and didn’t do a lot of shooting. I did chase a few little ideas to no avail, but thats OK. Sometimes not everything works out straight away and we have to work at it harder.

I made it down to BACC to meet op with Tom from Wuthipol Designs this morning. We had an amazingly long chat about books, Melbourne, Thailand and Bangkok, being a photographer, and well just about everything I could possibly think about. He was such a lovely person to chat to with some amazing ideas and skills.

The second half of the day was spent resting. I did quickly pop into 100 Thonson Gallery for a quick look at the work of Thanet Awsinsiri in his show called ‘“L’Origine du monde“. Its a very interesting look at gaze and as explained in the website as his  ‘continued interest in social interactions around the concept of obscenity, pornography and erotica.’ I get that feeling from the images and how uncomfortable I felt looking at these images, the challenge was to see how I as view reacted to such overtly erotic imagery.  I might have to go back and spend a little more time with the large video piece that looks like it was projected onto breaking and decaying concrete tiles. A wonderful looking video piece constructed from a Birgas Luna short film ‘The Earth’ juxtaposed with footage of the 2016 inland floods of Thailand. Will spend a little more time with the exhibition when I can.

Bangkok Day 2

Day two in Bangkok was spent in absolute bliss.

The morning was spent walking along the road Im staying in to discover some more amazing food. I managed to find something that resembles like a Thai Style doughnut. Probably more like an American style beignets or knish. Made with a sweet coconut milk I think and deep fried, and super dooper delicious. The problem is they are not really breakfast and I should have gotten something a lot more filling, so walking the other direction I came across a stall selling a Thai Omelette with rice so ordered one of those. Walked down the road with my booty of food and found a lovely spot in Lumpini Park to sit and eat.

After a lovely walk along the outside of the of the park and bumping into a few very large lizards sunning themselves, it was time to head back to the hotel for a quick shower and tidy up before heading off on my new adventure, my traditional Thai tattoo.

I made the booking through Where Sidewalks End and I have to say they lived up to the expectations I had. I was met at my hotel by my guide Khun Ice and he took me to my appointment with Arjan Neng. During the trip in my guide and I shared a lot of chit chat and he was the perfect host in translating my wishes to the Ajarn so the design and placement would be perfect to me. The whole experience was truely something I will never forget. Khun Ice took me to a little local restaurant after for a quick spot of dinner then guided me back to the station and safely back to my hotel.

 

If your thinking of getting a traditional Thai Sak Yant I can’t recommend Where Sidewalks End enough. A great experience personalised to suit you.

 

Bangkok Day 1

Landed in Bangkok very late after a few problems with busses, no cabs to collect me, and I had to wing it to the hotel. But all in all got here fine and dandy.

I’m still very very drained and trying to cope with sleep deprivation, time changes, and a little anxiety thrown in for good measure. It will take a few days for me to settle in properly and I hope most of these niggles will settle themselves down.

Quik trips around the local area of the hotel today to catch the lay of the land. Staying in a place where there is all manner of food and coffee to have which is very handy. Lots of street vendors to keep the nibbles coming and some very delicious looking treats not to say the least.

Tomorrow I’m of to get a traditional Thai tattoo which will be an amazing experience. I have booked it through the travel team at Where Sidewalks End And they have been super professional and curious! I can’t wait to see what what happens.

My own personal shooting will start in a few more days. I have a few ideas in mind but need to get some rest so I can focus on the things I need to get done. There are also a few appointments I have to keep with photographers, photobook makers, and galleries as well. So there will be no sitting back relaxing once I’m fired up and back to my normal self.