Specializing in Thai & Asian Contemporary Art

CALL WAITING: BANGKOK PHONE BOOTHS

H Gallery is very pleased to announce an exhibition of Frank Day’s multivalent series of photographs of Bangkok’s battered public phone booths. Seen as if magnets for the detritus of daily life in a metropolis, Day’s intimate yet subtly epic images register traces of the demands that govern our urban existence: postings for job adverts, signs of commercial pleasure, and listings for entertainment spectacles or social advancement opportunities. These sites are also a lens through which to view the particulars of Bangkok itself, whether the city’s conflicted sense of modernity, its vernacular habits or expression of guerilla creativity and politics. Many of the markings in the booths are tags by graffiti artists and also messages left by street protestors during the recent years of Thailand’s political meltdown.

The sense of a modernity in flux figures large across all the photographs. We measureour advancement through the passage of new technologies but Bangkok’s phone boothssignify a retarded history, emblems of a glut of time past and time present. In the shadow of glistening office towers these booths have all but disappeared in other major cities but here they are everywhere, derelict, vandalized and sometimes newly installed. Outside the encrusted enclosures and visible through the planes of Perspex, life goes on in all its idiosyncrasies, people eat on pavement tables, children play and sleep, tourists hail tuk-tuks and sex workers mingle.

However, Call Waiting is not a sociological document of the type that maps the rich contrasts of a contemporary Asian city. Rather, Day’s formalism cultivates intense moods and surprising resonances, touched by a noir sensibility of abandonment, neglect and mystery.

Frank Hallam Day lives in Washington DC. He is the winner of the 2012 Leica Oscar Barnack Prize as well as the Bader Prize in 2006, among other awards, commissions and grants. His work has been widely exhibited and is in the collections of Berlinische Gallerie und Landesmuseum Berlin, Baltimore Museum of Art, Orlando Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery, San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts and others. In 2013 Day completed a photographic commission for the Pew Charitable Trust and for Rosslyn, Virginia, and was awarded a grant from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. A monograph of his photographs of RV’s in the nocturnal Florida jungles was published by Kehrer Press in 2012, and won a prize from Photo District News the following year. He is represented by Addison/Ripley Fine Art in Washington, DC.

 

H PROJECT BANGKOK
Frank Hallam Day
August 6 – September 27 2015
This exhibition is part of Photo Bangkok 2015