Eagle hunters, reindeer herders from remotest earth coming to Bangkok gallery

The Tsaatan people live along the Mongolia-Russia border. Photo: Jatenipat Ketpradit
The Tsaatan people live along the Mongolia-Russia border. Photo: Jatenipat Ketpradit

The lens of a 38-year-old Thai photographer tells of his adventures from the Altai Mountains to the borders of Mongolia, where he encountered nomadic reindeer herders and eagle hunters.

People and Their World is an upcoming exhibition of works by Jatenipat Ketpradit, aka JK Boy, who over seven years traveled to faraway lands to capture the lives of tribal people. 

At the heart of the Altai Mountains l, where the borders of Kazakhstan and Mongolia meet, JK Boy encountered the Burgedchin, a group of hunters that have handed down the use of golden eagles to hunt prey for over 250 years. Under  falling snow at the Mongolian-Russian border, he met the Tsaatan, one of the last remaining groups of nomadic reindeer herders that have maintained the tradition for thousands of years. 

Jatenipat Ketpradit poses with a promotional poster of his exhibition.

More photos will tell stories of JK Boy’s journey to the remote island of Siberut in Indonesia, where he met the Mentawai people. They are among the oldest tribes in Indonesia to specialize in decorative tattoos with a belief in animism. In this, they can connect with spirits in nature through shamans. Animal skulls have been used in the rituals and hung in their homes to protect residents from evil spirits.

JK Boy’s photographs won Photographer of the Year as well as a Bronze Award for Architecture at online photo site One Eyeland Awards 2021. The series also won second place last year for The Family Sitting in the U.K.’s International Portrait Photographer of the Year.

People and Their World opens at 5pm on Friday and runs through June 30 at the RCB Photographers’ Gallery 1 and 2 on the second floor of River City Bangkok. Admission is free. The venue is open 11am until 8pm every day. 

Photo: Jatenipat Ketpradit

Photo: Jatenipat Ketpradit

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