| Pas pointed this out in the forum: This might be of interest to some of you: a Thai photographer by the name of Manit Sriwanichpoom. His work was featured internationally and recently exhibited at the Venice Biennale. Manit’s works confronts social / political issues like the excess of consumption, the impact globalisation, poverty etc. Some of his photos are deliberate dramatisation with actors, sometimes set against derelict landscapes (like the abandon Hopewell pillars and skeletons of unfinished Bangkok skyscrapers). Check it out: 1 – 2
The Pink Man is both a brash observer and symbol of excess, vulgarity, and falseness. Many Thais are somewhat bewildered or confused by Manit’s work. Concepts of darkly humorous socially conscious art are not well established here. There is also a certain resistance or immunity to self-criticism so many people perceive Manit’s work as simply a failed attempt at comedy that is in bad taste.
Above: ‘Pink Man” inserted in a famous photo of a policeman shooting into Thammasat University during the 1976 coup
On this page is one of his most famous images–the Pink Man with shopping cart looming above the Bangkok skyline.
Other great Pink Man images: “PINK MAN IN VENICE (4)”, in front of a wat, with man eating ice cream.
Photos of Manit Sriwanichpoom and Sompong Tawee, a model for Pink Man.
A variety of striking images from Manit and a review of the Pink Man work.
“From Desires to Where?” – a joint exhibition by Manit Sriwanichpoom and Weng Fen
On this page at the bottom is a ‘modern’ version of people fleeing from a napalm attack. Part of This Bloodless War (1997)
Photos from “In your face”
Talking pictures – The Star Online, January 23, 2005
…“Horror in Pink are the photographs of the 1976 lynchings. I published them in 2001 because the newly-elected governor of Bangkok, Samak Sundravej, was believed to have supported the massacre of the students. How could we have let him become governor? Have we forgotten our heroes who died for democracy? Why did these heroes die? … and I thought the answer was so that we could go shopping.
“The Pink Man in the photos represents today’s people. They have forgotten their history and are only interested in consumerism. The pink man is disturbing because of the amused way in which he looks at the horrible events going on around him. Some people despise him for behaving in such a manner, but many of us have forgotten the sacrifices of the past, so we are not so different…
“My next pink man exhibition will concern neo-nationalism. Again I will use the economic crisis as the starting point because before that, nationalism was on the decline. But in Thailand, I think nationalism is back. Our ruling party is Thai Rak Thai, which means ‘Thais love Thais’.”…
Protest – a new book by Manit Sriwanichpoom – Bangkok Post, November 5, 2003
Last month we mentioned Manit Sriwanichpoom, the outrageous artist and commentator on the Thai world. Today the Post has an article about his latest book which laments the growing boredom with which the increasingly monolithic government and media treat grassroots issues: Each Tuesday for a year Khun Manit turned up at Government House to photograph whoever might be protesting. Occasionally, there was no-one but some Tuesdays “yielded three or four major protests, involving hundreds or thousands, like a trade fair displaying `Problems of the People’ ”.
Tuesday, one learns from the book, is the protesters’ favourite day because the cabinet meets on Tuesday and there are a large number of reporters around, so your protest has a better chance of being covered in the newspapers the next day. Or at least that’s the way it used to be.
Khun Manit notes that today, “now that the so-called mass media are unable or unwilling to do their duty, it is useless to protest even on a Tuesday. However loud and agonised, your cries can no longer penetrate the walls of Government House to reach the ears of the reporters inside…”
…Ms Ing also ponders on the present state of the Thai media: “The Thai media’s state of spiritual corruption at the present time is such that, far from reflecting what is actually happening, they have become a fun-fair house of mirrors, making us laugh or shocking us with their distorted images but giving us no understanding of our problems and the context of our times. They are accurate only in the way that they do reflect, by their own inadequacy, the moral bankruptcy of our nation….
Place M 20周年企画展
Ordinary / Extraordinary
These are people from around my studio, I’d see them pass by every day, but I didn’t know any of them. I just thought it was time I got to meet my neighbours; that’s how the project came about.
I set out with no expectations. But as I got into it, I came to see that these people actually have very remarkable faces. This surprised me, because I’d never really thought about these people before; they were average people I’d passed by on the streets and never considered. But once a face was locked inside a photograph, inside the frame time stood still and I got to really scrutinise each one, the features and structure of a face, the emotions of each picture.
When the idea came to me, I immediately thought of a way to simplify the process. I didn’t want to use a complicated set up. I wanted to avoid a studio atmosphere with many lights and all that. Just one light for all. They would queue up and sit down one by one quite simply, no fussing over lights.
Initially, some people were nervous; they thought there’d be a lot of fuss because they saw it was a studio. But with this simple set up they were not crowded; they could breathe and be themselves. I told each one to sit down and not to try to express any emotion; just to keep their mind still within them. Just look into the camera and concentrate your mind within yourself.
I was quite surprised by their reactions afterwards. Some people sent their photos back to me because they were afraid of them, afraid of their own pictures.
I was sorry that they didn’t like it. I’d photographed them as the people that they were. I had no preconception, no prior expectations. I was just interested to get to know them. I didn’t set out to exoticise. For me, the interesting point is showing the lives, the stories that they have lived through. The life story is manifest upon the face, in the very texture of the skin, in the eyes. This is the interesting thing.
This experience has made me more aware of the people that I pass by on the streets. I try to look, to really look, at their expressions more; the look in their eyes. (原文まま)
Manit Sriwanichpoom マニット・スリワニチプーン
Photo gallery KATHMANDUを運営
2008年 The Lambs of God (Centre for Contemporary Photography / オーストラリア・メルボルン)
2007年 Man in Pink (Galerie VU’/ フランス・パリ)
2007年 Ordinary/Extraordinary (Tang Gallery / タイ国・バンコク)
2006年 Beijing Pink (Highland Gallery / 中国・北京)
2006年 Pink Man in Wonderland (month of photography BTS National Stadium / タイ国・バンコク)
2005年 Pink Man in Paradise (Valentine Willie Fine Arts / マレーシア・クアランプール)
2004年 Pink Man in Paradise (Monash University / オーストラリア・メルボルン)(Cemeti Art House / ジョグジャカルタ・インドネシア)
2002年 Bangkok in Pink (横浜美術館 / 日本・横浜)
2008年 Coffee, Cigarettes and Pad Thai (Eslite Gallery / 台湾・台北)
2007年 Photoquai (the World Visual Arts Biennale, Musee du Quai Branly / フランス・パリ)
2007年 Las Partes Y El Todo (Fundacio Foto Colectania / スペイン・バルセロナ)
2007年 Festival du Scoop (Angers / フランス)
2007年 Soft Power (Zendai MoMA / 中国・上海)
2007年 Act of Faith (Noorderlicht Photofestival / オランダ・フローニンゲン)
2007年 Asia – Europe Mediations (Poznan National Museum / ポーランド)
2007年 Thermocline of Art – New Asian Waves (ZKM / ドイツ・カールスルーエ)
2007年 Show Me Thai (東京都現代美術館 / 日本・東京)
2007年 So Close / So Far Away (CRAC ALSACE / フランス・アルトキルシュ)
2006年 Fever Variations (6th Gwangju Biennale / 韓国)
2005年 The First Pocheon Asian Art Festival (韓国・ポチョン)
2004年 Resistance (Chobi Mela III / バングラディッシュ・ダッカ)
2003年 50 th la Biennale di Venezia (Thai Pavilion / イタリア)
2007年 第23回 東川賞海外作家賞受賞
URL : http://www.rama9art.org/manit_s/
Photo gallery KATHMANDU : http://www.kathmandu-bkk.com/
Manit Sriwanichpoom is an artist/activist from Thailand, who uses photography and video to make art of a social and political nature. As well as his solo photographic pieces, he has worked in collaboration with other Thai artists and community groups to make work which critiques government policy…
“Amazing Thailand Year, another tourism, promotional drive by the government and the private sector to †saveË the country·by selling it.”
Increasing consumption at the expense of Asia’s unique identity and culture is an important theme in Sriwanichpoom’s work…
“Horror in Pink are the photographs of the 1976 lynchings. I published them in 2001 because the newly-elected governor of Bangkok, Samak Sundravej, was believed to have supported the massacre of the students. How could we have let him become governor? Have we forgotten our heroes who died for democracy? Why did these heroes die? … and I thought the answer was so that we could go shopping…”
||Increasing consumption at the expense of Asia’s unique identity and culture is an important theme in Sriwanichpoom’s work. In This Bloodless War (1997) he recreated famous photographs from the Vietnam War, which according to Sriwanichpoom was as drastic then as the loss of Asian culture is now. The casualties are no longer the victims of American soldiers. There are no weapons or corpses here. In place of these there are people in brand name clothing who scream, run and fall just as the victims in the famous photographs of thirty years ago did. In his work Sriwanichpoom (b. 1961) makes frequent use of historic image material in order to draw historic parallels.
Photos: courtesy Agence Vu