Beautiful Bangkok: Smartphone photography exhibition shows city in its everyday glory

Photo by Kullanee Kelly Sasavat. Photo: Random Thainess/Facebook
Photo by Kullanee Kelly Sasavat. Photo: Random Thainess/Facebook

Images of uniformed Thai students jumping with glee, angular perspectives on city construction sites, and cats studying birds outside a Bangkok alleyway home might do wonders to remind you of the simple things you love about the city.

As part of PhotoBangkok 2018, a series of photography events and exhibits across the city throughout the year, the most notable entries from a user-generated smartphone photo contest of pictures of Bangkok are on display through Sept. 9 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC).

Photo by Kullanee Kelly Sasavat. Photo: Random Thainess/Facebook
Photo by Kullanee Kelly Sasavat. Image courtesy of Random Thainess/FB

Organized to showcase the beauty of the capital city, inspire pride, and promote tourism, the contest was open to anyone, from any country, who snapped an original picture in the city with a phone camera. Then, all they had to do was submit it through an app. The creative contest, entries for which closed last month, yielded over 600 photos.

The three winning photos, as well as dozens of other notable entries, are now on display. 

Photo: BACC
Photo: BACC

Andres Ruktasiri, whose company, Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited, sponsored the contest, since modern Bangkokians share their life stories through images. “Not only does smartphone photography inspire the general public, but it has also managed to enter the world of art,” he said.

Photo: BACC
Photo: BACC

The recently-awarded top entries received: THB40,000 (US$1,200) for the winner, THB30,000 (US$900) for the first runner-up, and THB20,000 (US$600) for the second runner-up.

The winning photo, by Natsha Nandabhiwat, is a moody, sepia-toned portrait of a boy looking out at the rain.

Photo: PhotoBangkok Festival/Instagram
Photo: PhotoBangkok Festival/Instagram

Sattawat Boonchoo took the second prize with a mysterious, angular shot of a man walking away from the camera, backlit by a bright blue sky, along a roof or construction beam.

Photo: PhotoBangkok Festival/Instagram
Photo: PhotoBangkok Festival/Instagram

Third prize went to Patcharapong Kongsupapkul for a yellow-toned picture of a man walking outside the wall of the Grand Palace while a police officer on a motorcycle rides by.

Photo: PhotoBangkok Festival/Instagram
Photo: PhotoBangkok Festival/Instagram

Kullanee Kelly Sasavat also entered two photos that now hang on the walls of the BACC. Her shot of a cat watching a caged bird in front of an alleyway home evokes old world Bangkok perfectly and her picture of four uniformed students jumping in unison with huge grins might remind viewers of the playful nature of Thai people.

She told Coconuts that she took the pictures in her daily travels around the city on an iPhone. The photo of the kids was taken on an iPhone 6 and the photo of the cat was, amazingly, snapped with an iPhone 4.  She captured the students in the Talad Phlu area and the cat in the Kudee Jean community.

She called Bangkok a great place to take photos because of the large variety of people and places to shoot.



Beautiful Bangkok Smartphone Photo Contest
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), 7-8 floors
939 Rama 1 Rd.
Daily through Sept. 9
Free entry
BTS National Stadium

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