On Wednesday, we had Sebastião Salgado in Bangkok. He was giving a talk to open an exibition of his. Sebastião Salgado is a photographer, but not just anybody. He has established himself as the photographic documentarian of the world. I could ramble on for hours, but just google him or go to his website (https://www.amazonasimages.com/). In essence his work comprises of two major periods. The period, where travelled the world and build major portfolios on different subjects of humanity: workers – manual labor, refugees amd migrations, children. and after years of witnessing cruelty, savagery, injustice, famine, he took a break, because he could not take it anymore. He refocused his energy on healing again by turning his parents farm in Brazil back to its original state. – the state it was in before civilization turned nature into agriculture. And thsi is where tye second period of his work has its beginnings. He started to document and photograph how his parents farm developed backwards (http://www.institutoterra.org/eng/) with the help of donations and a lot of manual labor of love. This experience then spawned an idea to start traveling the wold again to document the few last resort where civilization has not, yet, turned nature on its head.
So, picture this. As we go to BACC, I was excited, because I so admire and lve the work of Salgado. I love the way he photgraphs, the way he develops and prints – balck and white with deep blacks, rich contrast, yet a lot of subte detail. A viewer must discover the image region by region. we were ther earl and thee were a surprisingly large number of other mostly Thai enthusiasts. We sit down and it gets close to starting time. An MC entered the stafe, introduced herself and asked everyone tonsit down, so that we couldnatart on time (this is highly unusual in Thailand, but that is a topic for a different blog – yes blog not just a single entry). As last visitrs are coming in, I turn my head to see who was entering and my jaw dropped….WAY DOWN. I stare, like a 14 year old girl meeting One Nation. The gentlemen I am staring at, stares back and asks me if he could help me. I stammer:” Are you who I think you are?” He says politely:”who do you think I am?” “James Nachtwey”, said I. He smiles and nods. Barbara grins, because she has never seen me like this.- hypersurpirsed starstruck! Now, Inknow the majority of you will say:”What the hell are you talking about? Who the hell ist James Nachtwey?” Just like Salgado he is an icon. He is a war photographer, who shows war not in a sensational way, but in a sensitive and honest and gritty way. I will spare you my lng and etailed descriptions, just google him, too or visit his website (http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/). So here we are, Sebastião Salgado 5 meters away in front of me, James Nachtwey my personal surprise guest of the night, less than a meter in the seat directly behind me. I was so excited, it was an awesome evening – memorable. And when the talk was over, there were Salgado’s photos to be viewed as well. This could not have been any better in my wildest dreams.
Sebastião Salgado and his wife Lelia Warnick Salgado. He photographs, she arranges his books and exhibitions in a manner tyat make his images so captivating and unique. My friend Joe, used to say, a photo is just a photo. But a properly framed photo is a picture.
Apparently, this is a s good as it gets. Shouid you be in Bangkok, go see the expos, it is running until March 8th 2017 – exactly 28 days. – admission is free (http://en.bacc.or.th/event/Sebasti%C3%A3o-SalgadoThe-World-Through-His-Eyes.html)
On Thursday, Barbara – always a trooper – was “schlepping” two books through town, only to get back to the BACC, to get them autographed by by Mr. Salgado.
And then the week continued. Barbara found out that there was an exhibition by Alex Face – a Thai graffiti artist, who has created a unique and very iconic character – a three-eyed baby in a white rabbit costume….oh so many metaphors wrapped up in a single character.
This is the little guy, you can find him all over town. There is always some mischief in the images or in this case the sculpture.
I have to say, though, the images simply look better as graffities on building walls, than as acrylic paint on canvas. But it was still a great Sunday afternoon.
This workspace reminds me of the Latin saying: “Ordo Ab Chao” – Order from Chaos. And to me, there is a lot to discover – this workspace tells a story.
Alright, stay sharp people and keep it real and in case you cross path with an icon of youres, enjoy the heck out of the moments that it lasts.
cheers Markus \m/