I remember the first time I was turned on by poetry. I was in high school Freshman or Sophomore English, and the poem was Carl Sandburg’s Chicago. Generally speaking, I was greatly turned on by the poetry we were reading, but Sandburg’s Chicago was different, gritty, and decidedly real. It wasn’t about love, or love lost, or nature or some abstract feeling. It was a dirty workman’s boot stomping in front of your face and I loved it.
Now I realize Chiang Rai, Thailand is so far removed from Chicago, Illinois, and it isn’t even a similar kind of city, but the buildings that I have been photographing in downtown Chiang Rai have a quality that reminds me of Sandburg’s poem.
I think that quality being – concrete, soot and buildings that have seen fresher days.
There is also something foreboding and ominous about the lighting when darker clouds join the landscape.
Colors are what usually grab my attention. And I don’t think I fully appreciated colors until I moved in Portland, Oregon. When I first moved there in 2001, I was too busy teaching, ironically an artistic curriculum, to recognize the way colors pop when it is overcast. But when I returned in 2003, I saw springtime flowers and the landscape in a new way (another benefit to being an avid walker).
I also like to notice what others will walk on by. Of course, I don’t do this consciously. It’s just a habit that I finally noticed about myself. After years of asking friends, “Did you see that?” or “Did you see her?” and receiving enough “Nos,” I began to recognize that I’m a pretty good observer. (Yes, I’m bragging. I can’t sing or draw, so give me this, alright?)
So, I suppose this is where these strange photos of ugly buildings (not the mosque) and signs comes from. Noticing stuff. Cheers.