Noppadol Maitreechit Chumphon, Thailand
Noppadol Maitreechit was chosen by photographer Elizabeth Char
Laatikkomo’s interview with Noppadol Maitreechit on March 20th, 2018.
L: Where are you from? What cities, and/or countries have you lived in – or what places have influenced you?
NM: I live in my hometown, Chumphon, it’s in the south of Thailand on the east cost. If anyone has been to Kho Toa or Kho Samui you definitely passed my province. In the past my path had changed by many turns. After I graduated in film study, I worked in the industry for a while. Then I went to New Zealand to worked as a help cook. It was a great oversea experience to lived and see a multi cultural society. I was happy there but it’s end in just 4 years. I came back to Thailand and figure it out what to do next. I also took pictures from that period but not very serious about it. It’s just to keep my memories. Now I had a small restaurant with my wife in my home town. It’s a job that could give me freedom and that’s what I needed.
L: What is your earliest memory of photography?
NM: What I can think of now is when I was a kid, my dad bought me a cheap plastic camera. I was very excited by that time. But I can’t remember any photo I’ve shot from that camera.
L: You use strong geometric forms in your images. Do you consciously calculate geometrically when composing your images?
NM: I think photography is similar to cooking. You can’t be good by the first time you did. You can’t really control the recipe. The taste aren’t great. But when you do it constantly, you will be better. You will be faster and the taste will be stable. The way of seeing for me is pretty much the same. You need practice. Eventually, it will come from your instinct.
L: A figure or a face is often the focus of the image. What inspires you most about people?
NM: “Mood” is the only word for me in photography. It’s the mood of people I photographed and my feeling while I was shooting as well. I think it’s very important to tell a story in the photo.
L: From the images on your flickr site, it is hard to pinpoint where your images were taken. Your scenes are urban but could almost be from anywhere. Are you interested in the concept of globalization?
NM: I think we all have basic needs in everyday’s life. The difference are such as languages, traditions, cultures and other details. Personally, I love looking at other people’s life, just like any other photographers. Each person has different way of seeing the world and how to express it through their images. It’s a charm of photography. Even you are at the exact same location, you will have a different way of seeing. It’s beautiful for me.
L: You have a very strong style. Do you think your images would be different if you would photograph in a completely different environment?
NM: I think everybody has their own style. Even you change your process or techniques, there will still be your style in the photos.
L: Humour and odd coincidence are often trademarks of street photography. Do you have set ideas that you look for before taking a photograph, or does everything really happen in the moment?
NM: I was just taking a walk then something happened. That’s it. And I’m lucky to capture the moment in time. Every time I go out shooting, I feel like I was making film again (I worked on Thai film set for a while) I was excited to create a movie scene on the street. “What film would I make today?” “Would it be a comedy, action, horror or romantic film?” I was having so much fun to create those scenes in my photo.
L: Could you list five or more words related to the work you are showing in Laatikkomo?
NM: “ Sea : Feelings : Imagination “
Beauty , peace , mystery , unpredictability , insanity….. There are thousands of different definitions for the sea. It depends on what ones have experienced– every moment, every incident that has made them feel. Sea is various. It’s like a sea of imagination in my mind. Whenever I look through the sea, it’s like how I go through my mind, discovering something deep down under my consciousness. We will never discover ourselves if we never have someone else to reflect ourselves upon. Our mind and thoughts never stop. It’s always ready to change just like a sea.
Thank you so much Noppadol!!