Photo exhibit examines Thai culture's conservative nature

Emotional experience is the subject matter of the photographic exhibition, "Saving Face", which is running at the RCB Photographers' Gallery 2 of River City Bangkok, Charoen Krung 24, until Dec 5.

Bryce Watanasoponwong, a Thai-Australian photographer, chronicles his Covid-19 lockdown experience in Bangkok, where he felt overwhelming waves of feelings but found it impossible to express them publicly due to societal boundaries.

The exhibition reflects the modest and conservative nature of Thai culture where people find it difficult to express negative feelings due to a belief that it is a sign of weakness that could lead to social rejection. As a result, many typically hide their feelings to save face and to protect their self-esteem and perception by peers.

Alternatively, however, the artist has chosen to express his feelings and emotions through art. His vibrant photographs look like watercolour paintings, with various immutable forms and blended colours that represent his changing feelings.

An abstract image by Bryce Watanasoponwong. photo courtesy of Bryce Watanasoponwong

As a continuous journey of self-reflection as portrayed in his previous show, "The Colours Of Emotion", from two years ago, the new exhibition also reflects American psychologist Paul Ekman's ideas of emotions as an ongoing process.

With his concern that unexpressed emotions can lead to mental health problems, the artist hopes that his works will inspire those who fear to publicly express their feelings to consider the depth of emotions within themselves and come up with a form of expression for the benefit of themselves and other in society.

Currently based in Bangkok after many years practising in Sydney, Bryce takes inspiration from the societal engagement and visual illusion found within our shared public spaces. His work is influenced by abstract expressionism and contemporary forms of candid, political and collaged imagery.

The exhibition is open for public viewing daily from 11am to 8pm. There is no admission fee.

Visit rivercitybangkok.com or call 02-237-0077/8.

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