Somsak Pattanapitoon Bangkok, Thailand
Occasionally, there is a chance to leave routine job and to find the beauty of nature. It could be fully appreciated with the expectation of the warmth and the joy from it. However, sometimes the weather is not likely to be favorable. Covering by the dark grey clouds, rain then pours down, and muddy land forms many small ponds. It was bad luck – I thought.
At the moment, amidst that inclement weather, the strange kind of beauty was appeared in front of me. It is not typical definition of beauty like some sort of reflection of golden sunlight or gentle breezing of grassland. Instead, it feels like diving from familiar perceptions into the enigmatic sensation, which is full of mystery, curiosity, anxiety, and fearfulness. In that dark hour, my eyes are not able to see them clearly,but as the time goes by, things become more substantial and absorbable on my mind rather than my eyes.
Elaborate truths are unveiled. The earthy aroma compels me to take a deep breath, which refreshing me up and noticing me the existence of surrounding creatures. The nature nurtures our both physical and mental body. Obviously, they cause both birth and death, sound and silence, full and empty, hope and fear, and many more things that far beyond human’s imagination. All those things are tightened and blended indistinguishably. It became the root of believes, worships, traditions, and faiths that the mankind reverence for.
Unfortunately, the profound bond from ancient age was degraded days by days. We cannot deny that we are drifting away from the nature, and fading away from our roots and own believe.
When the chain of respectful was disturbed and the conservative reliance was declined, the preserving of original pleasure and joy in nature are difficult to maintain.
Somsak Pattanapitoon has won numerous awards in photography and has been exhibited widely within Thailand. Pattanapitoon is closely associated with the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand, where he served as an Exhibition Consultant from 2009 – 2011, and on the Board of Directors from 2011 – 2013. He has contributed as a lecturer for seminars and workshops at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Chiang Mai House of Photography, Thonburi Vocational College, Thammasat Univerity Rangsit, among others. He regularly serves as a juror for photography competitions throughout Thailand.
Pattananpitoon’s work has been published in three esteemed photography books “The Base of Siam”, “Muang Krung Mung Thep”, and “Sukho+Thai”. This work was shot predominantly with infrared film, documenting historical temples throughout Thailand. His most recent photographic work, “Rhuka Dheva”, is heavily inspired by the dominant religion of Thailand, Buddhism. In this series of color photographs, he focuses his camera on the meditative qualities of the river and forest of Krabi Province, Thailand.
Somsak Pattanapitoon was chosen by photographer Alizz Vichchou
Laatikkomo’s interview with Somsak Pattanapitoon November 26th, 2018.
L: Where are you from? What cities, and/or countries have you lived in –or what places have influenced you?
SP: I am from /live in Bangkok , Thailand.The place that influenced to my work Krabi , one of province in Thailand.
L: What is your earliest memory of photography?
SP: Photography of my grandfather and grandmother family which is quite big family.it very impress me since I was young.
L: Most of your images seem to be taken with analogue film using long exposure times. Without revealing all your professional secrets, could you tell us a little bit about your process and techniques? And what is your relationship to analogue versus digital photography?
SP: The long exposure is related to my work since it can express more on the kindness ,violent, all living things as movement of nature depend on the difference in camera speed .For digital photography it help me to accomplish this feeling easier .just imaging how to take these kinds of photo in film era which is much more difficult.
L: Your images exude a soft, hazy light making them appear out of this world, like a mystical dream. Are you striving to express a spirituality in your images?
SP: yes, because this work is related to our traditional , believe, faith ,legend etc . in our nature that in the pass can help us to protect nature .Now since we are know more on science , so we do not fear or trust any ancient believe anymore .So , we just destroy without any fear anymore.
L: Although your images seem to be taken in cityscapes they somehow are void of people, this also helps give your images a timeless feeling: as if time has stopped. How and why have you left people out of your images?
SP: without people in photo but when people look at photos in will let them have a chance to look through themselves instead of people in photos.
L: I realised that I am also looking at your series (presented in Laatikkomo) through the lens of the current discussion on climate change and the rise in magnitude of natural disasters. So beyond the beauty and majesty of your images I also see land erosion, and exposure of tightly woven roots holding the earth together. Are these issues that you are intentionally alluding to, or is the current global situation pushing its agenda on its own accord?
SP: yes , it related to our believe and our act from past to present .In the past people ever believe that there some guardian , angle , devil etc live in nature , it seem to be ridiculous in our point of view today but there good thing that it can protect and make us reluctant to do anything to change our nature .But now , all believe disappear so do our nature .
L: What is one of the most important questions that you ask, or stories would like to inspire others, through your photographs?
SP: We ever believe in somethings that can protect our nature , but now those believe is out dated.
So , what we should believe now ?
L: Could you list five or more words related to the work you are showing in Laatikkomo?
SP: Nature, Guardian, Believe , Faith, Living
Thank you so much Somsak!