Chennai Photo Biennale 2019: Manit Sriwanichpoom looks at Thai struggle for democracy through the lens of oblivion

Thai photographer Manit Sriwanichpoom's Horror in Pink is a retrospective of the blood-soaked milestones in the long Thai struggle for democracy, looked through the lens of apathy and oblivion.

FP Staff February 28, 2019 15:50:43 IST
Chennai Photo Biennale 2019: Manit Sriwanichpoom looks at Thai struggle for democracy through the lens of oblivion
Chennai Photo Biennale 2019 Manit Sriwanichpoom looks at Thai struggle for democracy through the lens of oblivion

Manit Sriwanichpoom, in the concept note of his photo series 'Horror in Pink', remarks how Samak Sundaravej was elected Bangkok's new Governor in the year 2000 despite his alleged involvement in the 6 October 1976 Massacre. Sriwanichpoom asks, "Has everyone forgotten? Does ‘October 6’ mean nothing to us now? Do we even care? Have we learned nothing from history?"

Chennai Photo Biennale 2019 Manit Sriwanichpoom looks at Thai struggle for democracy through the lens of oblivion

"Because of this, I don’t think it would be too much for me to hold that ‘Pink Man’ stands for present-day Thailand. While out shopping, the man in the obscene pink satin suit with a matching obscene pink shopping cart – a soulless man without a conscience to trouble him – amuses himself by joining the ogling crowd in news photographs of unimaginable cruelty from the May Massacre and events of 14 and 6 October. My, he’s really getting his rocks off. How he enjoys himself," the concept note adds.

Chennai Photo Biennale 2019 Manit Sriwanichpoom looks at Thai struggle for democracy through the lens of oblivion

Manit Sriwanichpoom is one of Thailand’s leading photographers, and the best known in the international art world, having exhibited worldwide including in the Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2010), The Asia Pacific Triennial (Australia, 2009), Photoquai (Paris, 2007), Gwangju Biennale (Korea, 2006) and the Venice Biennale (2003).

Chennai Photo Biennale 2019 Manit Sriwanichpoom looks at Thai struggle for democracy through the lens of oblivion

His works are collected by important museums including in the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie (Paris), the DZ Bank (Germany), the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan), the National Gallery of Australia, the NGS (Singapore) and well-known private collectors.

Chennai Photo Biennale 2019 Manit Sriwanichpoom looks at Thai struggle for democracy through the lens of oblivion

In 2007 he was awarded the Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Prize from Japan and 2014 the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by French Ministry of Culture.

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