On the surface, [Pramuan] Burusphat’s work does not seem to be infected by the social movements of the 70s, although in his writings on photography, he clearly believes that artists have a responsibility towards society.  Back in Bangkok, he met with some of the senior members of the salon fraternity,  maintaining a cordial relationship with them. But his work barely left an imprint on them. The artists received his work slightly more enthusiastically, with Itthi Khongkhakul becoming a champion of his photographic practice. However, members of the art community have genuinely found it difficult to reconcile the pervasiveness of photography—and the illusion of the photographer as an unthinking technician—within their understandings of traditional, modern or contemporary art.

Zhang Wubin

The new artistic photography, epitomised by Itthi and Pramuan’s work, came to be recognised under the term ‘creative photography’ (phapthai sangsan). In 1984, the Bangkok Pictorialists Circle together with an independent committee, which included Itthi as its Vice President, organised a competition for works that adopted this photographic style. The terminology used in the essays for the competition’s exhibition catalogue provide a picture of how this new form of photography was conceptualised. Specifically, several authors emphasised that ‘creative photography’ should be understood in terms of its “strangeness” (khwamplaek), “newness” (khwammai) and its “originality” (khwamkhitriroen).

Clare Veal

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


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