Trying to capture the Thailand-Feeling on film

It all started with Boon´s photographs. Boon was an exchange student from Bangkok. Simona – my friend from school – and her mom had accommodated and befriended him during his time in Germany. I remember him wearing woollen winter hats even in summer because for him it was so cold in comparison to his home country.

And I recall that he had decorated his room with photographs from Thailand. I don´t really remember the motives, but I do remember the colours: Golden and Green. Living in Northern Germany, where everything is grey for at least nine months of the year, then turns into a greyish silvery blue and maybe even a full and friendly blue for a short period before falling back in excessive grey again, I was impressed: How could everything be so colourful, so golden, so lush? Wasn´t that even a bit over the top?

After Boon´s year in Germany was over and we finished school, Simona and I had the chance to travel to Thailand together and I could see and feel for myself: Thailand is gold, it´s warm, it´s chaotic, sometimes dirty. It is friendly and fun and at times ridiculously beautiful and too much.

analog double exposure of flowers and electricity cables

The year after we went there together, Simona went again. She kept going back the following years until one year, she didn´t come back to Germany at all.

Which gives me a good excuse to travel to Asia at least once in a decade to visit her.

Yes, decades pass faster than you think and so I found myself in Thailand in the beginning of this year, travelling with my mum and packed with a lot of film and three cameras. I did take some black and white film rolls with me, but standing there, in the midst of all these golden pagodas, flowers, markets and neon lights I couldn´t help myself but shoot all the Kodak Gold and Kodak ColourPlus rolls first.

Simona, who speaks Thai fluently, took us to all the places, we may not have found ourselves – and may not have thought we would ever go – from a scruffy looking but most delicious local noodle shop to an international Tango dancing class, from the smallest rural village coffee tree house to a children’s day at the national Airforce.

I could have found at least 1000 more motives.

Now, back in Germany, I almost got all the rolls back from the lab. And I must say, I am happy with the results. I don´t need more pictures as I think I managed to capture a glimpse of a feeling here and there.

I am hoping that those impressions and feelings will get me through the next decade – or will make me prepone the next trip to this wonderful country 🙂