Wherever we walk and in every country in the world we have our paths that we follow. Others that push and pull on where it is assumed the correct way of experiencing towns we visit govern the spaces we walk through, and the people want us to have an experience rather than discover. What these ideas have in common is the map.
The map can be used as to discover space. Its prime use is to guide us from one place to the next. But imagine if we could turn the map on its head, and make it something that makes no sense apart from to its creator, a true measurement of life and existence in space.
In Bangkok a homeless man has done this. Every day he’s collecting recyclables and wanders Sukhunvit Road and its Soi’s (side roads). Every experience he has ends up remembered and stored waiting for that time in the day when it’s mapped out. He uses all manner of items and public structures to write a map of his experiences. These pictographs never really say a lot, or anything in some cases as they are written in a code only he knows, and hopes never to be deciphered. The maps take on a new more diarist approach to his life alone after loosing his family. My last few trips to Bangkok has had me following these maps to try and find the creator, and also to see in a way that only he sees.
This combination of images has been stitched together from two different artists of the world, in a response to each other’s feeling of how the map works. Nathan Larkin followed the maps of the homeless man; delicately photographing them as to preserve the information they contain and observe the layers of information. Wuthipol Ujathammarat took the information supplied and mapped out the space in response, looking at the forever-changing scene of Bangkoks streets as they change. This unusual flux of Bangkok being in a continual phase of change between old and new; broken and rebuilt; lived in and lived on.
This combination of images fit together seamlessly in the forever changing face of a city that never seems to sleep and have a continual changing face. There is a shared experience between the two photographers as one is an outsider looking in, and the other an insider rediscovering the city he lives in. These shared experiences make an interesting view of the landscape of Bangkok.