The travelling chinese opera groups are a regular face to the locals of Chinatown in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Each year, the travelling troupes tour throughout Asia, acting out ancient stories from the past. Each performance is usually held within a local temple with the backstage area a constant pantomime of actors smoking and laughing as they continuously change costumes throughout the 5 hour marathon. Today, the art of the travelling opera seems to be in its twilight years as the stories and language are slowly being forgotten by the dwindling aged audience. Even though sometimes they can be seen performing to a crowd of empty seats, it has been said the that they will not stop performing as they are performing to the ghosts of the local spirits passed on.
The KNLA 5th Division Military Camp celebrated the 66th Anniversary of 'Revolution Day' in Mu Traw District, Papun Province, Karen State, Myanmar on the 31st January, 2015. The KNLA have been fighting the worlds longest civil war against the Burmese Military since 1949, when the Burmese Government waged war on the Karen people and splitting the community. Today, the groups are trying to make a symbolic step to re-unify rival ethnic rebel groups by establishing the Kawthoolie Armed Forces, a single unified force, aimed at consolidating other rebel groups, some of which have been bitter foes in the past. Yet it remains to be seen if old animosities can be buried and new bridges can be forged between these ethnic groups to make a united front to fight the economic and military might of the Burmese Military.
In June 2014, a new cycle of political protests began in Bangkok. One of the very first to mobilise themselves on to the streets was a group called 'V for Thailand'. The movement’s spontaneity was attribute to other masked protests elsewhere in the world. Popularized by Occupy Movement on Wall Street and outside the London Stock Exchange in 2011. The rebellious symbolism of the white mask has since been used in a number of protests across the globe including the Polish opponents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in January 2014 and also in Bahrain, the government banned the masks fearing the latest installment of the Arab Spring, following the example of the United Arab Emirates a few months earlier. Although the recent, growing street movement appears not to be organized, so far there is an indication that behind the mask this latest Thai political movement represents a familiar order.
Whilst I was in Yangon, Myanmar working with the 7th Yangon Photo Festival in 2013, I had heard about a small Hindu festival that was going to take place across the Irrawaddy River in the Irrawaddy Delta Region. Like most information, when a photographer hears about the possibility of photographing something un-familiar in an area he has never been before, it's like flying a red rag in front of a bull. I decided to investigate a couple of days before the event was supposed to take place to see if I could find exactly where this was going to happen. After taking the ferry across the river, I met a young burmese man who showed me around the area and knew about the festival. I agreed to meet him at the ferry the next day to take me to this unknown place. When I arrived, I could sense that the experience I was about to have would possibly have been the first and last experience of its kind for me, to witness an authentic local festival, in a place far away from any town, I felt like a pioneer explorer witnessing custom and ritual for the first time and feeling the sense that I was one of only a handful of foreigners ever to witness this festival in this remote rural region of Myanmar
The Pohtecktung is Bangkok's emergency service. Operating 24hrs a day, they respond to emergencies all over the capital.
Walking the streets of Eminou, Fatih, Taksim and across the Bosphorus river, the great divide between Europe and Asia into Uskudar and Kadikoy, I learnt of the two forces that meet deep within the Bosphorus. The great inflows of the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. It got me thinking about this natural phenomenon that had its very own unique hidden suspended nature, like a handshake, never to part. By observing the city and its people, it made sense that this natural phenomenon existed just like the nature between the two continents and the forces it has placed on Istanbul itself. I felt this same force of nature within me, walking through the streets and observing Istanbul with my own eyes.