1

Photoshooting with Thai Fabric Jewelry

It’s been quite a while since my small handicraft shop ‘Sirinya Ann’s Atelier’ has been active. I first started out handcrafting items from Thai fabric in 2013. I don’t sell anymore but I still enjoy wearing the articles myself. Thus, recently I’ve had the idea to wear an extravagant collar necklace for a photoshoot. It turned out amazing and unique. I really love wearing jewelry that I created myself and that nobody else has.

Thai Fabric Jewelry

Sirinya wearing a colllar necklace made from Thai fabric

Sirinya wearing a colllar necklace made from Thai fabric

I realized that this kind of diy jewelry is truly amazing for giving an extravagant touch to any outfit. Though by now I’ve nearly run out of my crafting materials from Thailand, I still very much love creating accessories and jewelry with traditional Thai fabric.

En Vogue with a statement necklace made from Thai brocade

En Vogue with a statement necklace made from Thai brocade

 

Fashionshoot with Thai brocade necklace

Fashionshoot with Thai brocade necklace

I wish I had more access to these fabics but living in Germany, they are hard or even impossible to obtain. In this context, I’m also reminded of the Siamese fashionista, a trend that came up about four years ago. I recall that was a group that tried to maintain the way Siamese people dressed in prior centuries. I’m not sure what has become of this group and if traditional Thai clothing has become a dress that can be worn on any occasion. However, I very much like the idea of dressing in the traditonal Thai way. Crafting small items from Thai fabric has been my way to relate to this trend.

Wearing Thai fabric jewelry

Wearing Thai fabric jewelry

Finally, all I can say to finish off this little post, is that I’d really love to wear a traditional Thai dress and also that I’d like to have more fabrics of this kind for crafting.




Media Review: Atman by Bernd Kolb

The soul is an infinite ocean of just beautiful energy and presence made manifest in human form (Panache Desai)

Today’s media review is about Atman by Bernd Kolb (ISBN: 978-3724310570). This book was published in September 2015 by terra magica /Reich Verlag. This book is in German language, comprises 192 pages, hardcover. It costs 50 EUR and is available in the German bookselling trade and on Amazon.

Atman by Bernd Kolb

The book Atman is a picturebook which invites the reader or rather the ‘viewer’ to realize and ‘see’ Atman, the divine spark, in the extraordinary pictures that Bernd Kolb took on his journeys through Asia. Bernd Kolb is known as an internet pioneer and German entrepreneur of the year 1998. The first station in his journey was Marrakesh (2007) where he restored a traditional city palace with centuries-old methods.

Atman by Bernd Kolb, terra magica 2015

Atman by Bernd Kolb, terra magica 2015

In 2012, he went on his journey to Asia in order to find out more about traditional sources of wisdom. Hence, soon the idea for comprising the book ‘Atman’ was born. The photos are predominantly portraits of people whom he encountered during his wisdom journey through Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia. However, there are also a few stunning pictures of landscapes like the Mae Hong Son province in Northern Thailand and an amazing picture of an elephant’s eye.

Padaung woman from Cambodia, Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

Padaung woman from Cambodia, the Padaung belong to the tribes of the Karen who also live in Thailand, Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

Atman may also be described as ‘soul’ or ‘essence of life’. In the 3000 years old Vedas, ‘Atman’ is called the divine spark in every (human) being. Thus, it can also be understood as the truth behind all appearances. Hence, the photographer tries to capture the ‘soul’ or ‘divine spark’ of his counterpart in his pictures. Thus, it is the authors aim to show that all beings are connected to each other through ‘Atman’.

A nun from Myanmar, Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

A Buddhist nun from Myanmar, Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

The book starts with a foreword by Jane Goodall followed by the author’s introduction in which he tells the reader about his motivation, intentions and his wisdom journey through Asia. The main part of the book consists of the photos followed by the caption in which the author tells us who the people photographed are. He tells the reader something about their story, where he met them and what they mean to him.

A dancer from Bali, Ubud in contemplation, Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

A dancer from Nusa Penida, a small island near Bali, in contemplation before his performance, Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

Old Soul, Bali, Ubud, Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

Old Soul, a 5 year old girl from Ubud, Indonesia Copyright (c) Bernd Kolb

I think that ‘Atman’ by Bernd Kolb offers the viewer an emotional journey to discover the ‘soul’ of human beings. Hence, the book is very inspiring and even like a meditation to me. When I look at the photos for some minutes, it seems that the pictures come alive. Bernd Kolb truly shares magical moments of presence. Thus, I can feel a connection to the people in the pictures.

In a nutshell, I find ‘Atman’ by Bernd Kolb truly precious and an amazing book. Thus, it is also a great gift for people who like photography, the extraordinary and the magical. The book invites the viewer to take his time and to dwell on the portraits and the impression that they give.

Yours, Sirinya




John Thomson: Pictures of Old Siam

“His [Thomson’s] photographic style can be perceived from the beauty of his works. Back then when all he had was natural light, he still managed to get the beautiful photographs”

(Paisarn Piemmettawat, the exhibition’s organizer’s assistant)

John Thomson: the crown prince of Siam (Rama V)

John Thomson photography: the crown prince of Siam (Rama V)

John Thomson Photography

Recently I’ve come across an interesting article in the Bangkok Post. It is about a photo exhibition of the Scot J. Thomson, born in 1837, who was one of the first photographers in the Far East.

young Siamese prince

A young Siamese prince

The National Gallery on Chao Fah Road in Bangkok now shows 60 of Thomson’s black and white photos of old Siam. These photos were taken in 1865 – 1866. The exhibition is called “Siam Through The Lens Of John Thomson”. It started on 10. January and runs until 28. February 2015. You have free entry to this exhibition.

Siamese nobleman Racha Chaya

Siamese nobleman Racha Chaya

The photographer arrived in Bangkok on 28. September 1865. Thus, the exhibition marks the 150th year since his arrival in Siam.

Siamese Buddhist bonze.

Portrait of a Siamese monk, 1865

While staying in Siam after living and travelling some other places in Asia like Ceylon and Malaysia, Thomson took photos of the King of Siam, members of the royal court but also of ordinary people. Hence, he also documented village life.

L0055805 Siamese boatman, Siam [Thailand].

A Siamese boatman with his oar.

 

siamese teenager with topknot

A Siamese youth with traditional topknot

What is special about Thomson is that he was the first (Western) photographer to be allowed into the Grand Palace and to take photos of King Mongkut, Rama IV. The King was very much impressed with his skill of taking photos.

800px-Thomson_King_Mongkut_of_Siam-762x1000

King Mongkut, Rama IV, in European attire, 1865

 

L0055542 The 1st King of Siam, King Mongkut, in state robes, Bangkok

King Monkut in traditional Thai attire and regalia of royalty, 1865

Hence, there is a very special picture of a procession taken in front of Wat Pho because the situation was that the King called everyone to stay still so that Thomson could take photos of this event. In fact, this is a rare picture of a historical moment that displays the greatness of Thai tradition.

king of siam and procession

The king and his procession in front of Wat Pho

What is more, Thomson also took photos of the city of Bangkok and Ayutthaya.

the chao phraya river as seen from the main spire of Wat Arun

The Chaophraya river viewed from Wat Arun

thomson_1

The pictures in this post are all taken from the Wellcome Library, London. They also have more photos of Thomson’s travel to other parts of East Asia.

Well, the exhibition is over but there is now a new book called ‘Siam Through the Lens of John Thomson’ published by River Books. If you are interested in history, old Siam and John Thomson’s photography, I strongly recommend you check out this work 🙂

Yours, Sirinya