Street photography is arguably the most interesting and dynamic genre in the photographic canon. It doesn’t just celebrate the seemingly mundane, it reveals those hidden nuances and profound aspects of urban living that reflect our society.
Celebrating this art is Street Photo Thailand, an online community established in 2008 by photographer Noppadol Weerakitti. The group currently numbers 11 artists who seek out typical, everyday scenes with a twist; scenes that show economic, cultural and political issues without hiding the difficulties and contrasts that abound in Thai society.
Commonplace situations combine with the special, the funny and even the scary. Images ranging from street vendors selling anything and everything to shots of soi dogs wearing T-shirts and businessmen on motorcycle taxis in the busy morning traffic give an unbiased insight into a society struggling to find a balance between old traditions and the consequences of rapid development and modernisation.
“Our collective aim is to promote Thai street photography at both national and international levels,” says Noppadol. “Our group includes artists such as Akkara Naktamna, who was a finalist at the Miami Street Photography Festival 2013 and was selected for the Southeast Asia Photo Showcase at the 2013 Xishuangbanna Festival in China. We also have Vinai Dithajohn, an experienced photojournalist who has worked with the likes of Time Magazine and National Geographic.”
Already well-known in local artistic circles, the work of the members of Street Photo Thailand is attracting attention further afield and this month 26 of their images will be on display at an exhibition titled ‘Street Photo Thailand2: A road to Paris’. Running until mid-January next year, the exhibition is curated by Sarah Neiger, a photo editor and organizer of art exhibitions who has rich experience in Asia and China. The exhibition is staged by travel and cultural agency Maison de la Chine et de L’Orient at 76 Rue Bonaparte on the left bank in the heart of the French capital’s art district.