Red light breaks through gaps in the billboards as a jingle about cat food plays on a digital signboard, where the regional stock report is also displayed. Gold is down, the US dollar is up. The train lurches into position like a mechanical caterpillar. On the platform stand scores of office workers, playing on phones, waiting to be ushered to their separate towers, as a new jingle about women’s deodorant starts to play. The lightning pace of development has left a glittering tarnish on the modern world.
In PAUSE, an exhibition of photographic works from across Southeast Asia, the artists have removed themselves from the proverbial rat race. They have instead focused inward, examining their cultures from more intimate, and often rural, vantage points. In a word, they’ve paused to reflect. Some shots feature rivers and fields in the country; others, including the iconic shot of an old man fiddling with a point-and-shoot camera, take a look at the intersection of new and old in urban life.
The exhibition was organized by PhotoBangkok, in collaboration with the BACC Exhibition Department, and curated by Ark Fongsmut. Participating are Kim Hak and Sophal Neak (Cambodia); Mes 56 (Indonesia); Souliya Phoumivong (Laos); Minstrel Kuik Ching Chieh and Nazaruddin Abdul Hamed (Malaysia); May Co Naing (Myanmar); Jed Escueta and Yason Banal (Philippines); Ang Song Nian and Robert Zhao Renhui (Singapore); Naruebes Vadvaree and Prateep Suthathongthai (Thailand); and Bui huu Phuoc and Phan Quang (Vietnam).
PAUSE runs until November 1 at the main gallery of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, on the ninth floor.