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'Artistic photography still struggles to be recognised as an art form'

'Artistic photography still struggles to be recognised as an art form'

We are delighted to welcome Singapore-based gallery, Art Loft Asia to Artfinder. To celebrate the partnership we catch up with photographer Anuchit Sundarakiti.

Tell us one interesting story that happened while you were photographing your works.

Photography has taken me to many different places. I have collected many stories with each of my travels but the one place that still inspires me is the Bangkok Railway Station.

Once, I met an old monk who traveled from at-risk areas in the south of Thailand to a hospital in Bangkok just to get treatment. He hiked for over 1000km and had to take a train ride spanning over 500km just for the return trip. You could see that he was exhausted and yet, determination sparkled in his eyes.

There are thousands of stories from the 100 years of history at the Bangkok Railway Station. It inspires me to explore the concept of time travel and the movement of people. I started photographing this place over the last 5 years, using the movement of trains and people to tell a story.

Tell us of an experience that you encountered that helped to shape your perspective as an artist

Since I have a background in architectural studies, my perspective is to focus on the idea of light and space and the emotions that it triggers. I feel that a picture often tells a story, and often brings out emotions that transcend any language and cultural barrier.

What is your opinion of the art community today?

Despite having a vast history of more than 100 years, artistic photography still struggles to be acknowledged as a form of art. Up till today, there are still challenges in gaining recognition for our works. Some art galleries in Thailand don’t view photography as art and see it for commercial use. It’s tough but I still keep trying my best to fight for photography as an art form, and truly appreciate people who see the value in what we artistic photographers do.

Share with us some challenges you face as a photographer and how you deal with them?

I meet challenges in my work all the time. Just like how its prevalent here and around the world, the biggest challenge is to be accepted as an artist in the society.

I try and overcome this by creating a community where likeminded creative individuals can come together to share ideas and their works. I believe that we should connect and present our works to others proactively instead of waiting to be discovered and approached.

Words of wisdom, or a favourite quote you live by?

The Thai King lived by the philosophy that all things should be done for the betterment of society. He once said, “Photography is an art. Take good advantage of it. Do not just shoot for fun or beauty. Use these images to add value to society and to benefit people”. That quote stuck with me and became part of my identity as a photographer.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other type of work?

After an early retirement from architectural design, I dedicated my time to art and photography. I decided to set up a group in Thailand for Photography enthusiasts, and to create a platform where we can share our knowledge and creativity to promote understanding and to build support for this growing community.

What are you currently reading, watching, listening to, or looking at that inspires and fuels your love for art?

I read books all the time and often browse the internet. Currently, I am studying the trajectory of Wabi-sabi , a way of Japanese Buddhism, which represents aesthetics and a world view that is centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. I hope to include some of its characteristics when conceptualizing my new body of works.

Hero Image: The Seeker 2 by Anuchit Sundarakiti

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