Jeremiah Rogers

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bangkok
Tue, Aug 18, 2015

I was walking by Erawan shrine about two months ago on the upper walkway between Siam Center and the Chitlom station. Thinking about if I should go down and photograph the shrine, which I saw so many days and walked by so many days. There were an awful lot of people down there milling around.

A business woman hustled by me on the walkway. Full suit with a skirt, in a hurry, wearing sunglasses and carrying a briefcase. I moved out of her way because she looked like she’d run me over otherwise.

I was surprised when she stopped, put her briefcase down, took off her sunglasses, bent her hands and turned her shoulders to face the shrine. She bent her head down and prayed in an intense 2 second moment.

This was probably a minor event. A busy person walking, maybe between meetings, taking a moment to pray as a part of everyday life.

I wanted to mention this because it framed my impression of the Erawan shrine as a place that’s important. Not just a “tourist attraction” as I’ve seen it described so many times in the news today.

I didn’t understand the context the Erawan shrine closely. I didn’t know why a shrine existed in such a dense shopping area. When I saw a woman behave so intensely and with such reverence toward it became clear that I didn’t really understand how important it was – and might take a while to understand how important it was – so I held off for a while on going down to take photographs. Today I regret that.

Tue, Jul 28, 2015

Novice monks gathering alms. Chinatown, Bangkok.

When I first arrived in Bangkok in 2013 it seemed so fascinating. I stepped out of the airplane and thought for a while about the insanity of people standing upside down on the other side of the planet. I had never been so far from home.

Things were odd at a micro and a macro levels: different looking food, buildings, and transit. A different language with an unusual alphabet. Monks walking everywhere in gorgeous orange robes.

Now after many visits to the city and a lot of time exploring or visiting I actually have some difficulty photographing Bangkok because it feels so normal. That’s a strange mental place. Compared to Cambodia, Bangkok feels a solid 50 years into the future. Cambodia has one big shopping mall. Bangkok has dozens. Cambodia has no metro. Bangkok has at least two, and perhaps four or five, depending on how you count. It feels like a major place.

Like Cambodia, Bangkok’s Chinatown is hectic with a lot of action in the streets. Also like Cambodia this seems to peak at night — when everything is a bit too chaotic for me — and the mornings, when the air is cool, people are moving slowly, and I can see the city beginning its day.

I find that things are more collective and beautiful in the morning than at night: praying at temples, monks gathering alms, women selling flowers, people unloading trucks or cooking or sweeping. It feels like a rebirth.

Here are just a few photos after many days taking pictures. On one particular morning more things came together than had before.

Woman selling flowers. Chinatown, Bangkok.

Workers. Chinatown, Bangkok.

Praying. Chinatown, Bangkok.

Praying. Chinatown, Bangkok.

Feet and yellow chairs. Chinatown, Bangkok.

Sat, Jul 11, 2015

Lat Ya Road. Bangkok, Thailand.

Selling lottery tickets in Bangkok Chinatown.

Cooking fish in a Bangkok restaurant.

Yellow, blue and red, man resting in a truck in Bangkok Chinatown.

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok.

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok.

Quite a bit different than my first trip to Bangkok almost two years ago. I’ve been shooting color again, and despite earlier promises still not spending as much time on photos as I’d like.

Most of these were shot on a Canon EOS 6D, a few shot on a Ricoh GR.