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Sacred Ink | Photographer: Cedric Arnold

Sacred Ink | Photographer: Cedric Arnold | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

A body, used as a canvas, every inch of skin filled with sacred text and figures of mythical creatures, all forming a protective shield. A boxer, a monk, a construction worker, a police man, a soldier, a taxi driver, a shipyard worker, a shaman, a tattoo master; men, women and their inked protection from evil spirits and bad luck. Enter the world of Thailand’s spiritual “yantra” tattoo tradition. - Cedric Arnold

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The Disabled | Photojournalist: Ohm Phanphiroj

The Disabled | Photojournalist: Ohm Phanphiroj | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

In Thailand, disabled individuals can be seen everywhere in the form of beggars, traveling the streets in Bangkok and asking for money. There are no laws intended to provide and improve the quality of life for these people. Roads, sidewalks, walkways are never equipped or adjusted to provide for wheelchairs or the blind. These unfortunate souls are considered a problem rather than as sharing in equal rights and status. They are looked down upon, although with a certain amount of sympathy. There are only a few facilities and organizations created to support and house them. Likewise, the budgets set aside for these places are minimal at best. Meager at worst.

 

The Disabled project is driven by the curiosity to understand how the disabled lives, functions and survives on a daily basis. In my search to learn more, I went to a male disabled rehabilitation and housing center on the outskirts of Bangkok. There the haunting and, at times, graphic images of an overburdened and failed care system can be seen. The place is both vastly under staffed and under budgeted, and the ratio of caregivers to patients is 1:40 or 50. Most of the patients living there have been abandoned by their families, not by choice but because their family has no means to take care of them, so subsequently they are brought to the center to be taken care of.

 

Patients are seen sleeping on the pavement out in the sun, tied to a secure pole or to a bed. The quality of the place is sub-standard, despite the good intentions of the few staffers who work there, with the condition of each patient varying, from physical to mental, to, in many cases, both.

It is my sincere desire to document the condition of the center along with the treatment of its patients. The images I have captured thus far are harrowing, haunting and very visceral. The feelings of loneliness and emptiness are prominent. I want to create a visual commentary that conveys these feelings along with the utter sense of despair and isolation I felt for the place and its patients.

 

With this project, I hope to help bridge the gap between those in need in our society and society itself. I wish to raise awareness and bring needed attention and better understanding of the existing conditions and to improve the quality of life for these people. I want to capture hope for the hopeless and dream for the few dreams the disabled have left. The project is my very personal and privileged journey into a space most do not care to venture, or simply refuse to acknowledge.- Ohm Phanphiroj

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Bangkok | Photographer: Jacob Aue Sobol

Bangkok | Photographer: Jacob Aue Sobol | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

I came to Bangkok for the first time in the spring of 2008. It is a city that has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, yet it is also a place where the gap between the poor and the rich is increasing rapidly.    

I found my interest in the sois, the narrow streets, which surround the muddy River of Chao Phraya, the street kids in Sukhumvit and the families who live by the old train track that runs through the slum of Klong Toey. This, as opposed to the fancy shopping area around Siam Square, is where people caught my attention - people I felt a connection with or an attraction towards, and who were willing to communicate with me or just share a brief moment of closeness. 

However, I could also often feel the distance between us, and so I often found myself in the role as the spectator photographing the constantly changing scenarios in the city. Underlined by the difference in language, race and social status, it was a continuous struggle to create an equal meeting. But when this succeeded, it was often in this encounter – on a one to one basis - that I got the feeling of the closeness and intimacy I was searching for.  - Jacob Aue Sobol

Photo report's insight:
Jacob is a member of Magnum Photos. Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, Rita Castelotte Gallery in Madrid and RTR Gallery in Paris also represent him. Jacob was born in Denmark, in 1976 and grew up in Brøndby Strand in the suburbs south of Copenhagen. He lived as an exchange student in Strathroy, Canada from 1994-95 and as a hunter and fisherman in Tiniteqilaaq, Greenland from 2000-2002. In Spring 2006 he moved to Tokyo, staying there 18 months before returning to Denmark in August 2008. He now lives and works in Copenhagen.
 
After studying at the European Film College, Jacob was admitted to Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography in 1998. There he developed a unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which he has since refined and further developed. In the autumn of 1999 he went to live in the settlement Tiniteqilaaq on the East Coast of Greenland. Over the next three years he lived mainly in this township with his Greenlandic girlfriend Sabine and her family, living the life of a fisherman and hunter but also photographing. The resultant book Sabine was published in 2004 and the work was nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

In the summer of 2005 Jacob traveled with a film crew to Guatemala to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl’s first journey to the ocean. The following year he returned by himself to the mountains of Guatemala where he met the indigenous family Gomez-Brito. He stayed with them for a month to tell the story of their everyday life. The series won the First Prize Award, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo 2006. In 2006 he moved to Tokyo and during the next two years he created the images from his resent book I, Tokyo. The book was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award 2008 and published by Actes Sud (France), Apeiron (Greece), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Edition Braus (Germany), Lunwerg Editores (Spain), Peliti Associati (Italy) and Mets & Schilt (The Netherlands) In 2008 Jacob started working in Bangkok and in 2009 in Copenhagen. Both projects will be published as books in 2013. Jacob is currently working on the project Arrivals and Departures - a journey from Moscow to Beijing - in co-operation with Leica Camera.  
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Muay Thai Bangkok | Photographer : Mark Carey

Muay Thai Bangkok | Photographer : Mark Carey | BLACK AND WHITE | Scoop.it

Here's a gallery of monochrome photographs of Muay Thai training made in Bangkok by the talented Mark Carey. These appealed to me as they were photographed away from the glitzy lights of the top Muay Thai arenas in Bangkok, but show the rather edgy side of the sport...as I tried to do in my recent photo essay of the Muay Thai ring in Loi Kroh Road in Chiang Mai. 

Mark Carey is a London-based documentary photographer, who tells us he never had an interest in photographing posed or set-up shots, whether for his wedding photography or during his travels. I think he somewhat bent his rule with some of the frames of the non Thai fighter in the Muay Thai series, but these are the exception and are well worth adding to the gallery...the fellow looks absolutely fierce.

Muay Thai is a combat fight practiced in Thailand, and referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact".

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