Thrown into a different culture one is forced to reappraise the values of one's own. Which to keep, and which to disgard? It is a constant process. Life is never static. Amid a country where Buddhism is the dominant belief system, and Muay Thai is the national sport, contradictions abound. It is a task of the traveller to learn to accept and yet, in the tradition of the Ancient Greeks, always to ask why?
Mankind loves clarity. The black and white of the mind. But as any engineer or philosopher knows, how something appears seldom represents the machinery beneath. The work of the best writers and photographers in Thailand acknowledges this daily confrontation between talk of simplicity and a complex reality. Anyone who has been in-country for long will notice the nuance of political, economic, and daily life though much of it will take a lifetime of learning to understand. It reminds me of a professor at Beijing University who had devoted his life to the study of Chinese culture. He said his work would never be complete.
Ben Bond, Lagos, Ghana
Ben Bond is one of a new generation of photographers who have embraced advances in flash technology, melded the use of digital and analogue lenses, and brought the whole package to social media. He excels at fashion photography.
Where most photographers will use "Rembrandt lighting," one light source, in the studio Ben Bond takes it outside and shows what can be done with a powerful modern portable flash and the noon day sun. Anyone who has ever worked close to the equator knows that it is way too hot at that time of day and yet Bond produces outstanding work with deeply saturated colour reinforced with carefully chosen background shades and tones.
His eponymous YouTube channel is definitely one to watch; https://xxxxx
Patrick Brown, Bangkok, Thailand
"Patrick has devoted himself to documenting critical issues around the world often ignored by the mainstream media. His groundbreaking project on the illegal trade in endangered animals won a World Press Photo Award in 2004 and a multimedia award from POYi in 2008. Continuing to work on the subject, his book ‘Trading to Extinction’ was nominated in the 10 best photo documentary books of 2014 by AmericanPhoto. In 2019 he published “No Place On Earth” provides an intimate portrait of the survivors of the recent persecution of the Rohingya in 2017.
He has been the recipient of the 2019 FotoEvidence Book Award and 2 World Press Photo Award 2018, 2004, 3P Photographer Award, Days Japan Award, Picture Of The Year Award, and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism Award for his work."