Manit Sriwanichpoom never wonders if he is a photographer. For professional reasons, he shoots for advertising agencies and sometimes for the press. However, his true passions are directed elsewhere. He defines himself first as an activist whose photography gives shape to his ideas and protestations.
His crafted persona, "Mister Pink," a man who wears a pink silk tuxedo, pushes a pink shopping cart, and uses a pink mobile, in order to reveal the consumerist drifts of our society. This isn't his only creative outlet, however. He also photographs black and white portraits of his friends who are artists while they stage their fantasies.
he morphing of Bangkok is now nearly complete ; the result a strange mutation, a new environment garish and alien. Loomed over by the monstrous purple hybrid angel and the fantasy landscape of giant billboards, the people in this space and time surrender themselves, and their city, to the homogenous consumerist dream of imagined worldly joys.
Thai contemporary photo-artist Manit Sriwanichpoomâs vibrant work offers a sharp and satirical view on Thai society, politics and religion.
In 2012, Manit Sriwanichpoom made a series, which depicts his own vision of Thai politics, when Yingluck Shinawatra became first female Prime Minister. The Constitutional Court forced her to step down in May 2014 after finding her guilty of abusing her power.
Obscene (2012) are Baroque nudes. These Caravagesque, charged and saturated colour photographs confront the garish vulgarity of present-day Thai politics: administrations, drunk on power, trumpet ideals of democracy while painting themselves as self-sacrificing heroes, defenders of freedom, and harbingers of âjusticeâ to our benighted country. The red colour has broader universal connotations; it can symbolize desire, passion,...
âBlueâ the latest body of work by Manit Sriwanichpoom presents a series of female and male nudes in various contorted poses.
As the series title suggests, each entire photographic frame is submerged in an intense, deep blue. The nude bodies twist and contort, or hold impossibly pained positions. Their diaphanous skin seems to glow with an eerie blue light against the abyssal yet nuanced indigo background.
In a stark departure from his earlier nudes, especially the âObsceneâ series, these male and female bodies are stripped of their sexuality, existing rather as androgynous statues in a series of tortured poses. This subverted bodily expression signifies larger themes of...
"To perceive the devil's discuss as the lotus"
"Those who love us fit on a small pelt; those who hate us fit on a mat"
"Do not export family secrets; do not import trouble from outside"
"A lotus leaf can't hide a whole dead elephant"
"A blind man groping to see an elephant with his hands"
"A pestle in the hand, religious tenets in the mouth. (One who holds a weapon but spouts morality, a hypocrite)"
"Egging on people to dance, pounding a boat to spring a leak"
"Lounging Tiger gets to eat"
"Held up at a red light one day while driving past religious icon shops around the Giant Swing in Bangkok, I noticed two life-sized statues of monks. One depicted Lhuang Por Toh Brahmarangsi (Holy Father Toh, Kingâs Mongkutâs guru, 1788-1872) of Rakhang Temple ; the other protrayed Lhuang Pu Tuad (Holy Grandpa, circa 1582-1662) of Chang Hai Temple.
The sight made my skin crawl. They were like living flesh. As if these revered monks had risen from the dead to sit there by the road, to demonstrate their meditation prowess to passers-by.
The creepy feeling deepened when I saw the glass display-case behind them, filled with 30cm-high replicas of yet more famous monks. These resin...
Manit Sriwanichpoom, the Thailand photographer, has come up with a unique variation on his prestigious Pink Man Series. His latest work, Beijing Pink, is the most recent in a decade. In this new series a Pink Trolley (Shopping cart), replaces the Pink Man as the important symbol attacking the apparent present day globalization, and consumerism. The Pink Trolley, as the ghost spirit of consumerism, is found conspicuously around Beijing while the city is enjoying a period of high speed development. The shopping cart is silently witnessing changing scenes between the old âthingsâ, and the new âthingsâ, revealing a cunning expression of conflicts of dialogue between things being...
Pink Man in Paradise (Mister Pink Series), Bali (2003)
Pink Man performance by Sompong Thawee.
October 12, 2002, In the middle of the night, a bomb exploded in front of a Balinese nightclub, killing 202 tourists, mostly Australians and injuring hundreds. It was an unprecedented terrorist attack, never seen before in the history of this tropical tourist paradise.
With this act, Islamic extremist terrorists blew to smithereens the partying and revelry that they saw as a manifestation of hell on earth, leaving behind, among the ruins, panic, incomprehension, outrage and grief for the people who lost their loved ones. For the rest of us, it has become clear that "No place is safe any more in this world."
The war on terrorism, as waged by US...
There are at least as much as Asies different that photographic approaches. And in these times of globalization, those which are most rooted in their cultural traditions coexist with those which confront or slip in aesthetic debates that cross all the continents. We do not claim to reflect the richness and diversity of what looks propose sweeping an area as vast and as diverse. Simply by bringing together across borders some significant artists of contemporary practices we try to ask questions that now arise, as crops in photography. So, in very different styles of a Chinese questioned one of...