Passage to Chiang Mai
Solo Exhibition by Vinai Dithajohn
Curated by Reinhard Kressner in cooperation with Voravuj Sujjaporamest
9 September – 21 October 2023
Opening: Saturday, 09 September, 2023 from 6 pm onwards.
at Chiang Mai’s Head High Second Floor (a non-profit Art Space)
Passage to Chiang Mai by Vinai Dithajohn
HEAD HIGH Second Floor proudly presents “Passage to Chiang Mai” photography exhibition by Vinai Dithajohn, a photographer who records the history of common people. This show tells story about way of life of Chiang Mai people from almost three decades ago. Through close-up shots of black and white photos, Vinai’s artwork reflects the persona and lifestyle of the original local people in the past. The beginning of “Passage to Chiang Mai” began from a photographic journal of the slow train journey from Bangkok to Chiang Mai of Vinai who started a new career as a freelance traveling photographer in 1993. To experience a distinctive way of life of local people that is far from familiar images in newspapers or travel magazines has awakened an explorer instinct in Vinai and lead him to hunt for photographs that no one had captured before. And later in the year 2000, Vinai was selected to participate in a one-month black and white photography workshop organized by the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Chiang Mai. This is an opportunity that allows him to take time to capture the way of life of Chiang Mai people outside the normal tourist path. This photographic journey began from people at the Cattle and agricultural tools market in San Pa Tong district, to hill tribes on Doi Inthanon, to Tricycle taxi rider and tuk-tuks driver, to go-go performers in a bar converted from an old movie theater. and to ground of cabaret dancers in the hidden bar near Chiang Mai University. In this exhibition, the uniqueness of Vinai Dithajohn’s close-up photography allows audiences to observe emotional expression and attitude in faces and eyes of local people which reveal their humble nature of the northern people under the time of urbanisation that turned Chiang Mai into a modern big city, while the innocence of rural lives begin to gradually fade away.
VINAI DITHAJOHN (b.1965)
Vinai Dithajohn is a Bangkok-based photojournalist who has been covering news and documentary stories in Thailand and Southeast Asia for the past ten years. He is a former contributor to the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA); his work has been published in Time Magazine, the International Herald Tribune, South China Morning Post, GQ Magazine Thailand, and National Geographic Magazine Netherlands and Thailand; he also worked for UNAIDS, UNDP, ILO, Amnesty International Thailand. Vinai is a two-time award winner in the FCCT (The Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand) Regional Photo Contest, placing second for Feature Photo in 2008 and winning the Photo of the Year Award in 2007. His photo essay on Sea gypsies was awarded first prize in the 2002 National Geographic Thailand photo contest. Vinai studied with internationally acclaimed photographers James Nachtwey and David Alan Harvey in their 2007 Bangkok workshop and at a World Press photojournalist workshop in Jakarta in 2002. Since 2004, Vinai has worked throughout the region on assignments with Greenpeace Southeast Asia covering climate change, and water pollution and documenting the crew of the Rainbow Warrior during an anti-coal campaign. He has also taught photography to children in the InSIGHT Out! project in the tsunami-affected area of Thailand. Vinai has currently work as the visual artist that explores many subjects involving political and social phenomena in Thailand and Southeast Asia. His works have been exhibited by many galleries in Bangkok, Chiangmai and Pattani.
2023 “Red, Yellow & Beyond” Solo exhibition at VS Gallery and Cartel Artspace, Bangkok, Thailand
2022 “Memory Remains” Solo exhibition at Patani Artspace as part of Kenduri Seni Nusantara Patani 2022, Pattani, Thailand.
“People Road k.m.0” Solo exhibition at VS Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand.
2020 “What happening in Thailand?” Group exhibition in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Gwangju Uprising, Gwangju City, South Korea.
2019 “Thailand’s Reds & Yellows” Group exhibition “LONG MARCH How to build republic?” at 6th Suwon International Photo Festival, Suwon City, South Korea.
2018 “The Frames of the South: Is Peace Near of Far Away?” Group exhibition “PATANI SEMASA” at Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
2015 Group exhibition with Street Photo Thailand at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre.
2014 Group exhibition with Street Photo Thailand, Paris, France.
2013 Group exhibition with Street Photo Thailand at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre.
2008 Solo exhibition at The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT).
For more information, please contact:
Head High Second Floor (New Address)
28/1 Singharat Rd. T.Si Phum A.Muang, Old Town, Mueang, Chiang Mai 50200
Open by appointment