Princess Sirindhorn’s stunning photography exhibition at BACCLegacy

The Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre currently holds an exhibition by Thailand’s royal photographer, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Those familiar with the photographs taken by the late King Rama IX will recognise the shared passion for photography and the arts of the princess and her late father.

The Thai public has grown accustomed to seeing at least one camera hanging around the necks of the two royals wherever they travel. It’s no surprise then that her photographs are imbued with as much intrigue and depth as those of her beloved father.

From snapshots of Thai temples to the Dior boutique in Paris, and intimate close-ups of a tokay gecko on her veranda, each of the princess’s photographs reflects her personality and contains a personal narrative she wishes to share with others.

As visitors enter the main exhibition hall of the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, the princess welcomes them with her image and words, offering insights into her most recent photo exhibition, Theirs and Ours (Baan Khao Muang Rao).

The show features photographs taken by the princess during 2022 and 2023, with the majority shot at her home in Thailand and only a few abroad. Nevertheless, each photograph showcases her skill, perspective and wisdom, often accompanied by her trademark humour, so yes, like father, like daughter!

Gathering of Dr Sumet, a photograph featuring Dr Sumet Tantivejkul standing in front of his portrait and composed of multiple shots, elicits smiles from visitors thanks to its witty captions.

Princess Sirindhorn's stunning photography exhibition at BACC | News by Thaiger

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

Intimate snaps of her pet dogs and cats also lift the spirits. In one photo, she captures her pet cat Bai Fern lying on a car in mid-yawn. The caption reads: Bai Fern likes to sunbathe in the car, even when yawning.

Royal palace

After the pandemic, the princess refrained from extensive international travel due to health concerns and as recommended by her doctors. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the public has the opportunity to see glimpses of the outside world from her palace. Photos depicting high-rise window cleaning, that tokay gecko on her veranda, and flowers in full bloom were all snapped during this period.

Most of the 150 photos speak volumes about the princess without uttering a single word. The captions only provide a rough idea of where and when the photos were taken.

Several photographs, including those of a traditional market, a Buddha image, a Nora dance, and the gecko, are enlarged to wall size and are stunning in their detail.

Many members of the Thai public have seen the princess with her camera slung around her neck or capturing moments at various events in the news. They may have wondered what objects or situations prompted her to press the shutter. The answer is revealed in the exhibition: almost everything.

One image features a breathtaking sunset over the famous Bangkok temple Wat Thepsirin Tharawat during her attendance at a Kong Ted (Chinese funeral ceremony) for Khunying Wanna Sirivadhanabhakdi.

Another candid shot portrays a beautiful Buddha image at Chaiyo Temple in Ang Thong province during the Kathina ceremony in 2022. Similarly, shots taken from her car include a Dior shop window in Paris and several from planes.

Princess Sirindhorn's stunning photography exhibition at BACC | News by Thaiger

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

Through her lens, visitors have the rare chance to learn new things alongside her. Historically significant shots include ancient fossils from the Confluences Lyon Museum and historical objects like the journal of Kosa Pan, the Siamese Ambassador in 1686, on display at Missions Étrangères in Paris. Venturing deeper into the exhibition, visitors find themselves transported across continents and oceans as the photographs unveil stories of resilience, beauty, and the universal human experience.

Images of people from far-flung corners of Thailand and the globe engaged in their daily lives resonate with viewers on a profound level. Rare shots of a beautiful sunset in Pattani and an aerial view of China add to the diversity of experiences.

Just like her father, the princess expertly captures a group of children in a remote village, their eyes twinkling with laughter as they play beneath the shade of towering trees.

It is a snapshot of innocence and joy, a reminder that amidst the chaos of the world, moments of pure happiness can still be found. One photo can speak volumes and visitors will find themselves drawn into a world of empathy and understanding, where differences are celebrated through her lens, reported Thai PBS World.

Theirs and Ours not only showcases the beauty of diversity but is also a powerful reminder of our shared humanity. Theirs and Ours (Baan Khao Muang Rao) by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, is on display on the 9th floor of the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre until April 7 (closed on Mondays). Admission is free.

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Author: Puntid Tantivangphaisal