Copyright ©Dow Wasiksiri

Ephemeral outdoor portrait studio of ethnic minorities

After seeing old artifacts during several museum visits, I was inspired by the old clothes and ancient textiles that were on exhibit. My thoughts then took me back into time, imagining how proud people in the olden days would have been to dress or wear clothes that reflected their true identity and the things they represent.

This inspired me to do street portraits on how people of today dress, and so I set myself out in search of people who are still proud of their identity and customs. With the younger generations however, we can't help but to notice Western influence mixed into their outfits, such as T-shirts and modern-day pants. At times, modern designs are also incorporated into the traditional design, as can be seen in some of today’s materials, such as Lanna and Sukhothai materials for example.

This project is not a catalogue on how to dress traditionally, but a record of what is current in terms of identity and changes that occurred.  It also raises the question of what the future generations will be wearing in forty or fifty years’ time. Thus it is not so much about where the images were taken, but more about recording the times. Therefore I have chosen to use Colonial-style portraiture for the work by creating open-air ephemeral studios wherever I went.

Muslim man wearing Kain Lapas (2015)

Akha hill tribe (2014)

Muslim child wearing Banong dress (2015)

Tai lue (2014)

Karen long neck tribe (2014)

Hmong hill tribe (2012)

Applied Hmong Dress (2015)

Pwo Karen (2013)

Pwo Karen (2013)

Tai Dum (2013)