Unseen Siam Early Photography 1860 – 1910
The first photography exhibition in Thailand features more than 150 old Siamese photographs from the very first beginning until the end of the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the fifth monarch of Siam. The original negatives of these photographs are kept in the foreign country’s archive. They were taken by foreign photographers and Thais who were later appointed Siamese court photographers. These archaic photographs which have never been seen would bring various historical aspects to light - whether portrait photography of King Mongkut of Siam, King Chulalongkorn, nobles and commoners; architectures and landscapes of the past hundred years; chronicled events and royal ceremonies; citified and provincial life; traditional dance, Khon (a masked performance), and Likay (dramatic performance). Every photograph has become the connection to the works of contemporary artists who would capture the metropolis’ social-economic particularities, her ongoing changes, along with her people’s way of life, land and water transportation. Contemporary performance and key technology of photography will encourage culture of history, pave way for further interpretation and sustain the life of these photographs.