Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pitak Siam anti-government mass rally

Siam leader Gen Boonlert Kaewprasit called off the rally at the Royal Plaza at 5:18 pm. The Anti-Government Rally at Royal Plaza on Saturday November 24, 2012 has been called off by the organizers of the event after clashes with police, the tight security, closed roads and inclement weather failed to draw the numbers of supporters the had hoped to receive.

We love the King
The Pitak Siam (Protecting Siam) have been attempting to destabilize the elected government as its predecessor “movements” did in 2005-6 and 2008. 

A group of anti-government protesters including the Santi Asoke monks listen to the mobile stage at the corner of Government house

One of several canopies on Ratchadamnoen Avenue

A jab that the prime minister is only a pretty face by the protesters.

Monks cross the site to listen to speakers on the mobile stage
There were clashes at the Makkawan Rangsan Bridge and Misakawan Intersection where police threw tear gas to disperse protesters attempting to dismantle the security barriers. These photos were all taken at the main rally site.

Thailand exporting oil to the USA? Why? Gas is more expensive in Thailand than neighboring countries. 

Ratchadamnoen Avenue looking towards the Golden Mount from the Royal Plaza

It seems that every group regardless of color protest for the same thing.

It seems as if they have only just cleared all of the barbed wire from the last protests. 

 I have seen clashes between the protesters and police at the Makhawan bridge back in 2008 and did not wish to get shot in the head so I stayed clear of the problem areas. 

There are always many food sellers and the variety available seems to be one of the main reasons why people enjoy these types of events. Here is sun dried beef or buffalo meat. 

Red curry "Kanom Jeen" available for sale at the protest site, food is often more popular than the speakers on the stage

"Protesters from the royalist Pitak Siam group, led by retired military general Boonlert Kaewprasit, repeatedly tried to breach police lines in the Thai capital and rammed a six-wheel truck into a security barrier but were held back." - Reuters, Nov 24, 2012

I quickly walked across the main area and down to the Misakawan intersection next to Government house. I did not cross over the the Makhawan bridge where the tear gas incidents occurred but I will have to on Monday morning. My office is right next door. I listed to the speakers who were mostly complaining about the police. I  exited the rally via Sri Ayuthaya road and returned to my neighborhood via Samsen and Sriyan. 

เสธ. อ้าย ยกเลิกการชุมนุมอย่างเป็นทางการ #ม็อบเสธอ้าย

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Perspectives in Impossible Architecture

 Impossible architecture created in the style of the late great Dutch artist M.C. Escher

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Infinite recursive architecture
An old roommate of mine had decorated the walls of our apartment with the pages from M.C. Escher's Print Gallery.  All these years later, I'm beginning to think they may have had an affect on me. I remember thinking that I'd never seen the fusion between this type of art and photography before so I set out to experiment a bit.  Almost all of these photos were taken of buildings in Bangkok, Thailand.

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Condominium on the banks of the Chao Phaya River near the district of Klong San & Bang Rak

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
This original building is actually a cancer hospital in the aree district of Bangkok.

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
One of the many sois around the Patpong Night Market & Red Light District in Silom
Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Ratchatewi, Bangkok

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
The Dusit Thani Hotel on Rama IV and Lumpinee Park

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Mise en abyme

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Nana Stations - Bangkok Transit System

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Impossible stairs

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Building facade in Pattaya

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Policeman's Hospital - Ratchaprasong at the intersection of Rachawiti and Rama I Roads

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Building facade in On Nut

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Somewhere in Bangkok

Impossible Architecture © 2013 Michael LaPalme
Central Business District - Sathorn

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Chosen Ones: The Mah Song (ม้าทรง) of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival

The Mah Song ม้าทรง

Nine Emperor Gods Festival / 九皇爺 / เทศกาลกินเจ

During the 9th lunar month of the Chinese calendar amid a chorus of firecrackers and drum beats devotees of various shrines around Phuket island perform religious ceremonies meant to protect themselves and their communities from evil.

 Known as the 9 Emperor Gods Festival Jiu Huang Ye (九皇爷) throughout the region and Tesagan Gin Je เทศกาลกินเจ in Thailand.
Dueling Umbrellas Pierced Through the Face
The Mah Song are those disciples who have been chosen by the gods to become spirit mediums of the festival. Mah ม้า is the word for horse in Thai, and the name Mah Song refers to how the spirits of the gods use the bodies of these people as a vehicle, as one rides a horse. They perform amazing acts of mutilation, self torture and flagellation.

Running the saw blade repeatedly over the tongue

Sword pierced through one cheek

A very imposing character with multiple needles pierced through his face and neck.
Two real pistols pierced through this Mah Song's face

An important member of the community is pierced at the front gate of Bang Neow Shrine

Devotee of Bang Neow Shrine with over 10 needles in his face

Duel ceremonial masks pierced through this man's cheeks

Not a bad choice of items considering the heat, sun and run during the island this time of year

Large wrench

Female Mah Song with some plants pierced through her face

Mah Song with a pole laced with purple & white orchids

These types of needles seem to be quite popular due to the fact that there is not a lot of blood and or scarring like some of the other objects chosen.

A pair of toy guns 

Spirit medium lost in himself

These devotees can walk up to 20km to and from Phuket town from the shrine they frequent

Hunting rile through the face of a friend. 



I saw that these needles were kept at the shrine and used from year to year

When you are not interested in quality then go quantity... 

Double swords through the face

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Natural Light Portrait of Saifon

The following series of images were taken with a natural light source at our home in Bangkok.
Bangkok, Thailand

I recently procured a 70 - 200mm f2.8 telephoto lens from my local camera store and have been very pleased with the results I've seen to date.
Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

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