July 01, 2012 00:00
By Veena Thoopkrajae
Veteran photographer Chamni Thipmanee's solo photo exhibition, "Two Decades of Chamni Thipmanee", opens today at a.e.y Space gallery in his hometown of Songkhla.
It is the first time the photographer has brought his work to his home province after staging solo and collective works in Bangkok and abroad.
The exhibition will showcase 100 photographs – many in the street photography style – taken in Songkhla over the past 20 years. The oldest photo is a nude portrait taken 20 years ago.
“Every time I go home, there’s always something attracting me. Songkhla is crying for attention from my camera,” he says.
He often roams the streets with his camera and loves doing portraits and candid shots that capture special moments reflecting social issues.
His photos tell the story of the province’s cultural diversity, as well as locals’ ways of life. Among them are photos of vendors selling Songkhla street foods, Thai temples and the Chinese community.
Chamni is also delighted to see his works displayed in the newly opened a.e.y Space on Nang-ngam Road, housed in a Chinese shophouse built in 1933. In the 1940s, it housed a famous Chinese restaurant and teahouse. Chamni is the second artist to stage an the exhibition in the gallery, after Nopadon Kaosam-ang.
Interested in photography since he was a young boy, Chamni attended the Institute de Europe in Rome in 1982, from where he went on to explore and experience Europe, where he fell deeply in love with photography.
He returned to Thailand and worked as a freelance photographer before co-founding the leading still-photography studio Chamni’s Eye Co in 1992.
The exhibition will run until August 31. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday, from 2pm to 8pm.