Sunday, 28 July 2019, 1-2pm
Hikayat, 226, Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street), 10300 George Town, Penang
✆ +604 261 9001 / 8001

© Ekkarat Punyatara | OBSCURA Festival 2019

© Ekkarat Punyatara


With or without our noticing, using photos to tell stories is common practice in contemporary culture. We tease friends by sending them a photo of yummy food while sitting in bed, we report work progress to our bosses by sending a photo through WhatsApp, and the odd good morning photo sent to a loved one. Throughout my professional experience as a photographer, I find endearing the many ways photography is being used by the general public - by users who don’t consider themselves photographers. I am intrigued by the visual language, and the visual culture emanating from the mass use of the photographic medium as tools for communication and entertainment. Much of the work that I see are disparate in nature but possess the foundations for becoming complex visual stories. In this presentation, I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts, examples of images I’ve found, as well as works by some of the most prolific artists of our time in the hope that I can make you imagine the breadth and depth of this language and leave you with a new way of seeing photographs - and perhaps, becoming conscious about being visual storytellers yourselves.


Ekkarat Punyatara is National Geographic Thailand’s photo editor and staff photographer based in Bangkok, Thailand. His photography is inspired by fascination in Thai culture that he was rooted to since childhood by his conservative family. He had worked with National Geographic Thailand as a freelancer since his senior year in university. After which, he entered international photography scholarships, Foundry Photojournalism  Workshop (2012) and Angkor Photo Workshop (2013). He first gained recognition for his photos in 2011 through a controversial project that questioned the traditionally conservative way of seeing Buddhism in Thailand by documenting a group of Thai monks living in New York. When not taking on worldwide assignments as an outsider, Ekkarat will be in his home country to portrait the lives of Thailand through the eyes of an insider.

Image provided by artist

Image provided by artist


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