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Silent Stones and Street Mediations

Date : 01 March - 26 March 2017

Location: People's Gallery P1, 2nd floor

By Ron Janowich
Opening exhibition on Wednesday 1 March 2017 at 18.00 hrs.

The photographs in this exhibition are my observations from the time I spent living in Chiang Mai. During the years 2015 and 2016 the aspect of Thailand that I found most profound was the simultaneity of multiple cultures coexisting in relative peace. My village in Chiang Mai was an upscale gated community. Every day, I would take long walks within the boundaries of the village and over time I would notice and watch the patterns of a group of ground keepers and street workers. They would always work with a sense of dignity and gratefulness. At the same time, I was becoming aware of the basic costs of living and maintaining a reasonable standard of living. For the workers depicted in the photographs, this remains a never ending daily struggle. Nonetheless, they would work long hours with a serine dignity. The Urbana 0 series are composite portraits of workers as they go about their jobs within the security structures of the village. The metal fences that appear in the photographs serve as a confinement metaphor. The viewer is asked who is allowed in and who is kept out and why. The Silent Stones series are my memory reflections of the various workers past and present as I walk the streets that they maintain. In the evening as I walk and look at the empty streets, my mind flashes to images of the workers who spend their days cleaning and maintaining these perfected roads. Just as quickly the images disappear and I am left reflecting on the transient nature of their lives, unnamed and forgotten. The third series is called Central Fest. In this series I transported the workers to a modern shopping mall. It’s a location where they would seldom if ever travel to. It’s where consumer products would be expensive and out of reach. Nonetheless, it’s a location and status that many people aspire to, yet relatively few can occupy with ease. Many are left observing but not participating in the abundance that is so visible yet so unattainable. My hope is that as you view these photographs you will feel a deeper empathy for the workers who you will find everywhere, if you take the time to notice. The photographs honor their life and struggles.
 
All photographs are dye transfer on metal made 2016