An exhibition celebrating 180 years of friendship between Thailand and the USA invited photographers from one country to submit images depicting life in the other.
This year marks the 180th anniversary of the Thai-USA friendship and, this month, an exhibition celebrating that relationship opens at Central World.
Curator Hossein Farmani, working with the US Embassy, has compiled 180 images – 90 from Thai photographers capturing American life and 90 of the reverse.
“I’ve always felt photography brings people together,” Farmani says. “It’s a great way to promote something and bring something to light.
“My goal was to show how similar we all are but also how different the cultures are – there’s beauty in that.”
Farmani runs the Rooftop Gallery in Thong Lor and, although he works primarily with professional photographers, he was surprised by the quality of submissions he received.
“I didn’t expect it,” he says. “Some of the shots from Thai photographers were amazing, really striking. Thailand has been travelled so much that we knew the photos of Thailand would be good.”
After sifting through nearly 700 entries, Farmani was also impressed by the cross-section of the images. Although there were the requisite images of the Statue of Liberty or of Thai islands, Farmani insists the images, on the whole, broke the mould.
“There’s been a real mixture,” he says. “Although I really wanted to portray Thailand as a more modern country.
“One of my favourite photos come from a photographer who was on a film set. But a lot of the photographs taken outside of Bangkok still focus on that more traditional side of Thai life.”
The 180 Photographs exhibition will take place at Bangkok CentralWorld, July 19-21, Chiang Mai Central Airport Plaza, July 26-28, then Chulalongkorn University Arts and Culture Centre Exhibition Hall, Aug 1-Sep 13. Admission is free. See 180photographs.com